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California IN BRIEF : GLENDALE

Wilson Signs Bill to Sue Drug Dealers

September 25, 1996|From Times staff and wire reports

Gov. Pete Wilson signed a bill Tuesday that will allow people and businesses to sue drug dealers for harm caused by illegal substances. "We're going to financially bankrupt these leeches," Wilson said. The bill was inspired by the suicide of actor Carroll O'Connor's son, who killed himself last year after battling drug problems. "This morning we take . . . a particularly important step in rooting drug dealers out of society and making sure they can't profit from their crimes," Wilson said before signing the bill at Glendale Adventist Medical Center. The bill holds drug dealers to the same liability standard as other businesses in California. It takes effect Jan. 1. If dealers are found to have caused damage or injury by selling drugs, family members, employers, medical facilities, insurers and victims of users' reckless actions can sue.

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