AG confirms Delaware's involvement in ongoing national opioid investigation

DELAWARE - Attorney General Matt Denn has confirmed Delaware's involvement in an ongoing national opioid investigation, and he says that they are starting steps for an independent investigation.

In a response to a Wall Street Journal article describing a national coalition of Attorneys General investigating whether manufacturers have engaged in unlawful or false practices in the marketing and sale of opioids,

Attorney General Matt Denn is saying that the Delaware Department of Justice is actively participating in this investigation.

Attorney General Denn also says that his office will invite private law firms to submit competitive bids to be appointed as special counsel for the Department of Justice to further investigate opioid manufacturers for violation of state law in the sale and marketing of opioids.

Officials say that the request of proposal makes it so the work has to be done on a contingency fee basis so it would not involve the use of state funds. The national coalition of Attorneys General is reviewing what role manufacturers of opioid drugs may have played in establishing or prolonging the nation's opioid epidemic. The coalition of Attorneys General is utilizing its investigative tools, such as subpoenas for documents and testimony, to find out which action is best to take.

The National Coalition of state Attorneys General is not saying the specific companies that are the current subjects of its investigation, which has been going on for some time.

The Request for Proposal for private firms to investigate potential claims may result, if the facts and law offer a legal basis, in a separate lawsuit brought by and in Delaware. The RFP includes different changes to guarantee fairness, competitiveness and transparency in the retention of a law firm and appropriate state control over any decision to start litigation and the conduct of any litigation that starts.

The RFP is expected to be posted here, and on this website by the end of next week.

Attorney General Denn says "These efforts to hold manufacturers of opioids financially responsible where the law allows are an important part of our overall effort to improve prevention and treatment of substance abuse. "If our investigations reveal that the manufacturers of these products violated Delaware law, we will seek to have them help pay for the fight to end the epidemic."

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