OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today announced the state will dismiss its lawsuit against three of the nation’s largest opioid distributors, and will refile new lawsuits in state court against each company individually.
The strategic move comes three weeks after McKesson, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen Corp. removed the state’s case from Cleveland County District Court to a federal court in Oklahoma City. Dismissing the charges takes the case out of federal court.
In January, the state filed one lawsuit against all three companies.
Attorney General Hunter said the companies’ ultimate goal is to have the state’s case buried with the thousands of others in Ohio.
“We want to hold these three companies accountable to Oklahomans in an Oklahoma courtroom,” Attorney General Hunter said. “It is regrettable, yet not surprising, that these companies are taking a page out of Johnson & Johnson’s failed playbook in an attempt to escape responsibility for their irresponsible and deadly business practices in our state. It is because of their misconduct we have lost thousands of lives, while hundreds of thousands continue to struggle with addiction. The team and I look forward to refiling these cases where they belong, in state court.”
The state will file the petitions against each company in state court at a later date.