Oklahoma AG to dismiss federal opioid case, refile in state

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter says he plans to dismiss the state's lawsuit against three opioid distributors that has been moved to federal court

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said Friday he plans to dismiss the state's lawsuit against three opioid distributors that has been moved to federal court and refile new lawsuits in state court.

Hunter said the move comes after McKesson Corp., Cardinal Health Inc. and AmerisourceBergen Corp. removed the state's case from Cleveland County District Court to a federal court in Oklahoma City.

Hunter said he wants the case to be heard in Oklahoma and not consolidated with thousands of other opioid lawsuits that have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio.

“We want to hold these three companies accountable to Oklahomans in an Oklahoma courtroom,” Hunter said in a statement.

He said the state will file separate petitions against each company in state court at a later date.

Hunter won a lawsuit last year against opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, which was ordered to pay $465 million for its role in the opioid crisis. Both sides have appealed the judge's ruling.

The state has also reached separate settlements with several opioid drug manufacturers.