Nessel took the unusual step today by issuing Requests for Proposals for attorneys and law firms anywhere in the country that have the experience and resources to pursue claims against manufacturers, distributors and other responsible parties related to both opioids and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).
“These manufactured chemicals – both opioids and PFAS – are having a devastating effect on our residents and on our entire country,” said Nessel. “We are compelled to pursue the very best legal expertise we can find in the country to assist us in successfully going after those who are poisoning our planet and our people.”
The Department of the Attorney General seeks to determine the appropriate litigation strategies to protect the State of Michigan, its residents and the public interest. The successful bidder will assist the Department in conducting investigations, determining claims, drafting complaints, conducting discovery, engaging in motion practice, and preparing for and conducting any trials that may proceed.
Opioids – both prescription and illicit – are one of the main drivers of drug overdose deaths nationwide and in Michigan. The State has expended significant resources combatting the opioid epidemic, the crime related to it, drug treatment and rehabilitation associated with opioid abuse.
PFAS – known as “forever chemicals” – have been used in a wide-ranging number of products, including firefighting foam, carpet, and packaging materials, and for waterproofing fabrics and leathers, nonstick coatings, and industrial processes such as chrome plating. Numerous sites of PFAS contamination have been identified in Michigan; more sites are expected to be discovered.
The scope of work in both RFPs includes providing all necessary personnel, labor, materials, services, equipment, supplies, time, and travel, required to examine, investigate, recommend and litigate on behalf of the state as Special Assistant Attorneys General (SAAGs) on a contingency fee basis.
“Our state will spend hundreds of millions of dollars addressing these problems – costs that should not be borne by the people who live, work and play here,” said Nessel. “Many of those same people were poisoned here and we will make those responsible pay for their greed.”