LOUISIANA (KLFY)– Bob Broussard and his wife Mary lost their daughter Jonterez “Jaja” Broussard after she unknowingly ingesting fentanyl. He said because of this, he has been making it his mission to work with lawmakers like representative John Stefanski to get House Bill 586 also known as “Jaja’s Law” passed.
Their efforts paid off as the bill is now waiting to be signed by Governor John Bel Edwards.
In a previously reported story on HB586, State Representative John Stefanski initially proposed the bill by saying “The intent really is to hold those who bring illicit and illegal fentanyl to our country. And it’s pretty well documented where it’s coming from. It’s coming across our southern border, and it’s being delivered to those countries through China.”
Jaja’s Law indicates foreign countries and states could be held responsible for the deaths of people who unknowingly ingest fentanyl and die from poisoning. Broussard, Jaja’s father and contributor of the bill said Jaja’s Law was created as a way to put a stop to the illicit trafficking of fentanyl from foreign countries.
“The illicit fentanyl trafficking by China and the Mexican drug cartels in solidarity with each other beginning on January 1st, 2015, has played a substantial part in causing or bringing about the injury or death to all persons in this state resulting from the unintentional ingestion of fentanyl,” Broussard said.
He said the illicit synthetic opioid is being shipped into the U.S. and sold to people who unknowingly ingest the drug. He said families like his who have lost a loved one would be able to sue and seize the assets of foreign states if they are found to have a role in producing, trafficking, or distributing the illicit drug.
“This bill creates a right and favor of every victim of fentanyl ingestion, unintentional fentanyl ingestion, or fentanyl poisoning to bring a suit against China or Mexico and to seize their assets,” Broussard said.
He said when his daughter passed away, he made it a purpose to bring awareness to fentanyl poisoning and hold the parties engaging in trafficking fentanyl responsible. He said he “vowed that he would write this bill and make China accountable.”
Broussard said having Jaja’s Law passed is an amazing feeling and he’s extremely grateful for the work representative Stefanski has put into making this happen. Meanwhile, Jaja’s brother, Bobby Broussard, said what his family has gone through is horrible, but this allows them to get closure and he wants other families who has experienced the same thing to know they’re not alone and there is light at the end.
An overview of Jaja’s Law can be viewed here.