TALLAHASSEE (FOX 13) - A Bay Area mother is one of many faces representing what the opioid epidemic has left behind. Lisa Brandy's daughter Brandi was college-bound, but then she got hooked on prescription pills.
"Because of prescription medication, she will never have that opportunity. Brandi's journey from start to finish was 18 months -- from the first time she became addicted to prescription medication until the time she died," Brandy said at a press conference Tuesday with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Bondi announced a major lawsuit against eight drug makers and distributors. She accuses them of racketeering and deceiving the public about the dangers of the drugs they make.
"It's time these defendants pay for the pain and the destruction that they have caused," said Bondi.
It's estimated 15 people a day die in Florida from opiate use.
Nowhere has the prescription pill addiction hit harder than in Pasco County, says Sheriff Chris Nocco.
"As you heard about these manufacturers, they are drug dealers, there's no doubt about it," Nocco said.
Bondi, who has seven months left in her term, says while she's starting this legal fight on her watch, it pains her that she may not be in office for the outcome. But she says the mission remains the same.
"The people that created this, the manufacturers of these drugs and the distributors of these drugs who push them, will be held responsible," Bondi insisted.
Bondi won't say the dollar amount she is seeking but says she is in talks with the drug manufacturers to settle the case. She couldn't discuss it further because of the gag order issued on the case.