60 Minutes is shining a light on Mike Moore, the former Attorney General of the State of Mississippi who sued 13 tobacco companies in 1994. The lawsuit claimed that the companies lied about nicotine addiction and that they should reimburse the State for the health care costs of treating those with smoking-related illnesses. Attorneys General from other states joined the lawsuit. Moore negotiated a $246 billion settlement with the companies ($4.1 billion went to Mississippi). Moore played himself in the 1999 Michael Mann film The Insider (SEE LINK BELOW). It’s a fictionalized account based on the 60 Minutes segment about big tobacco whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand, who was played by Oscar Winner Russell Crowe. Oscar Winner Al Pacino played CBS producer Lowell Bergman.
Mike Moore is now going after the manufacturers and distributors of opioids including Purdue Pharma (OxyContin). According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the opioid epidemic cost the U.S. economy $78.5 billion in 2013, a quarter of which was paid by taxpayers through increased public costs for health care, criminal justice, and treatment. Moore tells 60 Minutes, if his team wins a verdict against the opioid manufacturers and distributors, “we could bankrupt them.” 60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7:30 pm on CBS, right before God Friended Me.