Ashley Moody appeared in a Pasco County courtroom to make a bold statement and a big impression.

“Good afternoon, Your Honor,” she said to Circuit Judge Declan Mansfield.  “Ashley Moody, Attorney General, on behalf of the State of Florida.”

The state sued major drug manufacturers and distributors, claiming they’re responsible for the opioid crisis.

Among them is Purdue Pharma, the maker of Oxycontin.

The state accuses companies of using deceptive marketing to increase sales.

“The opioid epidemic has ravaged the State of Florida,” Moody said after the hearing. “It is not going away.”

The suit was filed in 2018 in Pasco County.

It alleges the companies misrepresented the drugs and claimed they’re safe.

“This is a manmade devastation by the corporations,” Sheriff Chris Nocco said. “We’re not talking about 10, 15 lives. We’re talking about hundreds of lives in every county.”

Moody stood her ground in front of big pharma attorneys in what was the first hearing in the case.

“What we seek to do is make sure this doesn’t happen again,” she said.

“That companies are put on notice. They owe a duty of care. And they need to make sure they, as best as possible through monetary means, make whole the State of Florida and the people they hurt,” Moody said.

An attorney representing the group of attorneys had no comment when asked by News Channel 8.