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Gwen Graham to Pam Bondi: "stop stalling" and sue the drug companies

Gwen Graham 10 EKM
Former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham stands with supporters for a photo after she announced that she is running for governor at a park in Miami Gardens in 2017.

Democratic candidate for governor Gwen Graham called on Attorney General Pam Bondi to "stop stalling" and sue the drug companies that many believe are responsible for creating the nation's opioid crisis.

"Florida families are tired of waiting," Graham, an attorney, said in a statement. "If Pam Bondi, the attorney general and a lawyer, can’t find an attorney to file a lawsuit, she can call me directly and I’ll help guide her through the process."

Bondi has spent months searching for a lawyer to take the case, while hundreds of other states, cities and counties - some in Florida - have already filed lawsuits.

The suits generally target the makers of powerful prescription drugs and the companies that distributed them, arguing that the companies either turned a blind eye to or knowingly sold highly addictive opioids.

Bondi has said that Florida will be filing a separate lawsuit and won't be joining a massive multi-state action taking shape in a federal court in Ohio.

Graham first called on Bondi to sue back in September. State Democratic lawmakers have also urged the attorney general to take action.

"For years, Attorney General Bondi looked the other way as powerful drug companies profited off abusive practices and fueling the opioid addictions of countless Floridians," Graham said. "Finally, after thousands of Floridians have died, Bondi says she'll sue — but words are meaningless without action."

She said that as governor, "I will hold the drug companies accountable and use all the powers of the office to address the opioid epidemic."

Bondi's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.