Kentucky's attorney general has hired four law firms to investigate and potentially sue the makers, distributors and retailers of opioids. Governor Matt Bevin's administration says the contract is premature.
Andy Beshear says the law firms will pay for the lawsuits and will be paid only if they win by taking a share of the verdict or settlement.
The team includes the firms of Morgan & Morgan, Motley Rice, the Lanier Law Firm and Ransdell Roach & Royse PLLC. Morgan & Morgan is based in Florida, but they have offices in Kentucky. Their lawyers include former Democratic Attorney General Greg Stumbo.
Ransdell Roach & Royce is based in Lexington and includes John Roach, a former Kentucky Supreme Court justice who served on Bevin's transition team. Motley Rice is based in South Carolina while the Lanier firm is based in Houston.
Finance and Administration Cabinet spokesman Glenn Waldrop said there is no final contract. He said the Attorney General's Office did not follow the required approval process and said "there is a chance this contract may not be approved." He declined to answer more questions.
Deputy Attorney General J. Michael Brown said the office followed all procurement laws.