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In opioid lawsuits, 1 state opts to stay on the sidelines -- The Daily Reporter

Found: Fri Jun 14 08:46:48 2019 PDT
Source: Daily Reporter, The (Columbus, OH)
Copyright: 2019 The Daily Reporter
Webpage: [translate]

topical analysis
prison was NOT mentioned
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In opioid lawsuits, 1 state opts to stay on the sidelines -- The Daily Reporter In opioid lawsuits, 1 state opts to stay on the sidelines -- The Daily Reporter

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In opioid lawsuits, 1 state opts to stay on the sidelines

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Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson has been active in combating opioid addiction but so far has remained on the sidelines while other states and thousands of local governments have taken legal action. (Photo: Nati Harnik, AP)

In opioid lawsuits, 1 state opts to stay on the sidelines

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson has fought prescription opioid abuse through public education campaigns, worked with lawmakers to tighten up prescribing practices and even demanded documents from the maker of OxyContin. He has said the overdose crisis is ravaging families.

What Peterson has not done is pursued a lawsuit seeking to hold any opioid manufacturer, distributor or pharmaceutical company accountable. That leaves him standing alone among state attorneys general.

Every other state has sued, filed administrative charges or promised to sue the companies blamed for the national crisis, which played a part in the deaths of more than 390,000 Americans from 2000 through 2017. Peterson's decision to stand on the sidelines, at least so far, has frustrated some who want to ensure that Nebraska is in line to receive its fair share of money under any national settlement.

"We as a state have been great and our attorney general has been wonderful in recognizing the opioid problem," said state Sen. Sara Howard, of Omaha, whose sister died of an overdose in 2009. "It's really baffling to me why we haven't joined (the lawsuits)."

Howard sent a letter to Peterson last month urging him to join a group of some 1,500 opioid-related lawsuits from around the country consolidated under a federal judge in Ohio, but said she received no response. She said Nebraska has more work to do and that she would like to see the drug companies pay for treatment and prevention programs.

In a statement, Peterson spokeswoman Suzanne Gage said state lawyers talk regularly with private attorneys and other states that have filed opioid-related lawsuits. Gage would not rule out future legal action, but declined to say why the state has not yet proceeded with a claim of its own.

After a flurry of legal filings in recent weeks, 48 states have sued to recover damages they say are caused by the opioid crisis, while Michigan's attorney general has announced her intention to sue and has solicited bids from outside law firms to handle the case.

Nebraska stands out for another reason. Its opioid-related death rate in 2017 was the lowest of all states, with advocates saying addictions to alcohol and methamphetamine are more pervasive. Even so, tribal and local government officials say opioid abuse has led to a rise in law enforcement and public health costs.

That's among the reasons that led several of them to file their own lawsuits.

The Ponca Tribe last year sued Purdue Pharma, the Connecticut-based maker of OxyContin, and other pharmaceutical companies. The state's other three tribes quickly joined.

"We have a responsibility to make sure we're protecting the health of our citizens and being proactive wherever we can," said Larry Wright Jr., the Ponca tribe's chairman.

Five Nebraska counties -- three rural and two in the Omaha area -- also filed lawsuits, as did South Sioux City. Douglas County, which includes Omaha, claimed in its January lawsuit that the epidemic has saddled officials "with an enormous economic burden" and led to more crime and children in foster care.

Nationally, more than 2,000 state, local and tribal governments have sued Purdue.

Several Nebraska lawyers involved in the local opioid cases said they were surprised the attorney general's office hasn't yet filed a lawsuit to help the state recover the costs of health care, law enforcement and social services.

"From a lawyer's standpoint, it seems to me you'd be in a better position if you have a lawsuit on file and are engaged in the litigation process," said Ed Hotz, one of the attorneys representing Douglas County. "But maybe the attorney general has his reasons. I'm just not sure what they are."

The go-slow approach is in keeping with how Peterson, a Republican, handles his job. Now in his second term, the former assistant attorney general and deputy county counsel has always billed himself as a "workhorse, not a show horse."

While he has accepted campaign donations from pharmaceutical companies, including industry giants Pfizer and Eli Lilly, state campaign finance records show Peterson has received no money from Purdue Pharma or other major defendants in the opioid lawsuits.

Even without suing, Peterson has taken an active role in trying to address the problems caused by opioid addiction.

Last year, he worked with state lawmakers on new monitoring requirements for prescription drugs and restrictions on how much doctors could prescribe at one time. In 2017, he joined a coalition of 41 attorneys general that issued subpoenas to drugmakers and demanded Purdue to turn over documents. His office helped launch a public awareness campaign that included television and internet ads.

"We are joining forces to work together in protecting Nebraskans from the harmful impacts of addiction and the ravages it can cause to families and futures," Peterson said at the time. "Nebraskans are not immune from this problem. We all need to work together and do something about it."

Peterson also played a major role on the Nebraska Coalition to Prevent Opioid Abuse, a working group that emphasized public awareness, increased training for health care providers and expanded use of naloxone, a potentially life-saving drug for opioid users who have overdosed.

But he also has tried to deter local governments from taking matters into their own hands. In an April 2018 letter to Nebraska's associations for cities and counties, Peterson said it was unnecessary for local governments to file their own lawsuits because the state would likely distribute settlement money to them if it received a share.

He did not elaborate on how Nebraska would collect the money, and Peterson's spokeswoman declined to comment further. In the letter, Peterson said his office was "actively engaged" in talks over how to hold opioid makers accountable and was still investigating the matter with other states.

It's not clear whether a government entity that does not sue could miss out on a nationwide settlement with the opioid industry or individual companies. States are being represented in the federal settlement talks in Ohio, regardless of whether they filed claims, but it's not certain that there eventually will be a settlement. How that money would be distributed also would be subject to negotiations.

Paul Hanly, whose firm represents about 250 local governments in opioid litigation, said many governments that were initially reluctant to sue now realize there's no downside to taking action. The number of court filings from states has surged since last year, and in March Purdue reached a $270 million settlement with Oklahoma.

"I think the Oklahoma settlement has got attorneys general saying, 'I'd better get on board here,"' he said.

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Associated Press

In opioid lawsuits, 1 state opts to stay on the sidelines by GRANT SCHULTE and GEOFF MULVIHILL - Associated Press time: 4 min

Health Ohio ranks 21st for nursing home complaints

Associated Press Watchdog: Abuse, neglect in nursing facilities unr *

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analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:23 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:2 stimulant hits:1 narcotic hits:24 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? NO - the issue of prison or incarceration was NOT mentioned in this article .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:15 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:3 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:0 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:1 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:2 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:2 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

illegal drugs  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda 98%
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme5 propaganda theme6 propaganda theme7 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
 addiction 60%
[news] [concept]
"addiction" "addictions"4Twelve-Step Snake Oil (2012)
Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers (Thomas Szasz)
Rat Park
Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It: Why Is This Widely Denied? (2014)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 70%
[news] [concept]

"overdose" "overdosed" "crime" "harmful" "deaths" "death" "damages" "problem" "problems" addiction11Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 75%
[news] [concept]

"Americans" "public health" "the country"3Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
propaganda_theme5 : drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugschildren

propaganda theme5 60%
[news] [concept]

"children"1Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5)
Think of the children
propaganda_theme6 : drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; wardemonize, war, epidemic

propaganda theme6 65%
[news] [concept]

"epidemic" "combating"2Demonize, War (propaganda theme 6)
List of Wars on Concepts
Perpetual war
The Failed War on Drugs (2012)
propaganda_theme7 : drug war propaganda theme: total prohibiton or accesstotal prohibition

propaganda theme7 98%
[news] [concept]

"legalization" "legalization cuts into existing medical marijuana"2Total Prohibition or Access (propaganda theme 7)
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

cannabis addiction narcotic stimulant  
[news] [concept]
various drugs  
 psychoactive chemical

[news] [concept]

alcohol methamphetamine amphetamines
 psychoactive plant

[news] [concept]

 psychoactive pharmaceutical

[news] [concept]

naloxone oxycodone
 euphoric stimulant
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
opioid : opiate-like but synthetic drugsopioid

[news] [concept]

"opioid" "opioid-related" oxycodone22Managing Pain
 depressant intoxicant 50%
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
Amphetamines: The Swedish experience
medical_cannabis : cannabis for medical usemedical cannabis
[news] [concept]
"medical marijuana"
Cannabis Treats Anxiety, Depression And Activates Pathways That Regulate Emotional Behavior (2014)
The Flower (video cartoon)
[news] [concept]
opioid Managing Pain
 naloxone - opioid overdose antidote

[news] [concept]

"naloxone" injection.html
 alcohol 50%
[news] [concept]
"alcohol"1Stanton Peele Addiction Web Site
Pot Threatens Booze Profits
amphetamines : various amphetaminesamphetamines
[news] [concept]
methamphetamine The amphetamines - Consumers Union Report
Officially Approved US Military Speed/Amphetamine Use
cannabis : cannabis (marijuana) product or usecannabis
[news] [concept]
"marijuana" medical cannabis1Cannabis: Religious and Spiritual Uses
Cannabis-Driving Studies Cannabis Link DB
Schaffer Library: Marijuana
U.S. Prisons Thriving on Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests (2013)

[news] [concept]

OxyContin Managing Pain
[news] [concept]
Managing Pain
 various drugs
[news] [concept]
"pharmaceutical" "drug" "drugs" "drugmakers"8 
 youth 60%
[news] [concept]
propaganda theme5
 aggrandizing government

[news] [concept]

"officials"2Statism: the Most Dangerous Religion (2014 video)
What is Statism?
Conservapedia: Statism
Wikipedia: Statolatry
Bought Priesthood
Worship of the U. S. Government (2011)
Bureaucratic Thrust
Tyranny of Experts
The Threat of Authority (2012)
The Media As Enablers of Government Lies
The Statist Mindset (Jacob Hornberger, 2011)
Thinking Critically about Experts and Authority
'Scientific' evidence for FDA-approved drugs isn't so scientific, it turns out (2014)
The Intellectual Gravy Train (2015)
 mainstream (controlled) media

[news] [concept]

mockingbird Mainstream Media
Michael Levine, Mainstream Media: The Drug War Shills
Mainstream Media: The Most Significant Threat To Freedom
 Mockingbird / Wurlitzer; US intel-controlled media

[news] [concept]

assoc press Operation Mockingbird - Mighty Wurlitzer cia a...
US Media Conceals News (2013)
Two of the Largest American Newspapers Opine in Favor of Allowing States to Legalize Marijuana (2012)
Propaganda 101: Operation Mockingbird Continues (2015)
 assoc press
[news] [concept]
"Associated Press" "AP" cia a...
Associated Press (AP) - Mockingbird / Wurlitzer

st:0.01 fo:0 s:0 d:0 c:0.04 db:0.139 a:0.55 m:0.33 t:1.41 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

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    article tags


    assoc_press concept - AP - Associated Press - long linked with "Mighty Wurlitzer" intel ops like, "Operation Mockingbird"
    mockingbird concept - documented US intel controlled media: newspapers, tv, radio - various press associated with known intel ops such as, "Operation Mockingbird", "Mighty Wurlitzer", etc.
    msm concept - mainstream media - corporate, government controlled press: newspaper, tv, radio, websites; press associated with known intel ops such as, "Operation Mockingbird", "Mighty Wurlitzer", Tavistock Institute, etc.
    aggrandizement concept - terms of aggrandizement (of government)
    youth concept
    various_drugs concept - general terms for drugs
    OxyContin concept - a time-release oxycodone brand
    oxycodone concept - a type of opioid
    cannabis concept - cannabis (marijuana) product or use
    amphetamines concept - various amphetamines
    alcohol concept - ethyl alcohol for intoxication
    naloxone concept - naloxone hydrochloride is an opioid antagonist which prevents or reverses the effects of opioids
    narcotic concept - a drug that dulls senses, relieves pain, induces sleep
    medical_cannabis concept - cannabis for medical use
    methamphetamine concept - methamphetamine
    stimulant concept - a substance that produces stimulation
    depressant_intoxicant concept
    opioid concept - opiate-like but synthetic drugs
    intoxicant concept
    analgesic concept
    euphoric_stimulant concept
    pharms concept - Psychoactive Pharmaceuticals are over-the-counter or prescription chemicals approved for human medicinal use, with mind- or emotion-altering properties
    plants concept - Plants listed in this section are those which have been used by humans for their mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    chemicals concept - Psychoactive Chemicals are chemicals which have mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    drugs concept
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme7 concept - drug war propaganda theme: total prohibiton or access
    propaganda_theme6 concept - drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; war
    propaganda_theme5 concept - drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugs
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    addiction concept - addition or drug dependency
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition