Court rules against Beshear in dispute over opioid suits

Court rules against Beshear in dispute over opioid suits
Gov. Matt Bevin's administration and lawmakers acted within their authority when rejecting Attorney General Andy Beshear's hiring of outside lawyers to assist in suing manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers, the state's Supreme Court ruled.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has suffered a setback in defending his contract to add outside lawyers to his team that's suing manufacturers and distributors of opioid painkillers.

Kentucky's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Gov. Matt Bevin's administration and lawmakers acted within their authority when rejecting Beshear's decision to hire outside attorneys.

The ruling comes amid the hard-fought governor's race between Bevin and Beshear.

Beshear, a Democrat, says the court's decision will have "devastating impacts" on his cases against pharmaceutical companies. He says Bevin gave the opioid companies "one of their biggest wins nationwide."

Bevin says the ruling shows that Beshear broke the law in awarding “outrageous, uncapped” contracts to his allies. The Republican incumbent says the contract could take millions of dollars away from Kentuckians who “need it most.”