Oklahoma AG Refiles Opioid Litigation in Rural County

DURANT, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter refiled lawsuits Friday against three opioid distributors in one of the state's counties hit hardest by the opioid epidemic.

The litigation previously filed as one case in Cleveland County was refiled as three separate cases in Bryan County in southeast Oklahoma against AmerisourceBergen Corp., Cardinal Health and McKesson.

Hunter calculated the three companies were responsible for supplying nearly 70% of the pain pills distributed in Bryan County from 2006 to 2014.

In separate statements, McKesson denied driving the demand for opioids and Cardinal Health said it continues to negotiate settlements but will defend itself at trial, if necessary. A message seeking comment from AmerisourceBergen wasn't immediately returned.

Hunter previously secured a $465 million judgement against consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson in the first such state trial against an opioid manufacturer. That case is currently on appeal.

He also secured multimillion-dollar settlements with other drugmakers over the state's opioid crisis.

From 2007 to 2017, more than 4,600 people in Oklahoma died from opioid overdoses, state statistics show.