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The City of Huntington v. Amerisourcebergen Drug Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. West Virginia, Huntington

August 3, 2017

THE CITY OF HUNTINGTON, Plaintiff,
v.
AMERISOURCEBERGEN DRUG CORPORATION, CARDINAL HEALTH INC., and MCKESSON CORPORATION, GREGORY DONALD CHANEY, M.D., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DAVID A. FABER SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         The court has considered defendants' Motion to Remand filed on March 15, 2017, and all matters of record relevant thereto and finds no material difference between this case and The County Commission of McDowell County v. McKesson Corporation, et al., Civil Action No. 1:17-000946, also pending in this court.

         Accordingly, for the reasons set out in this court's opinion in that case, dated July 3, 2017, a copy of which, labeled “Exhibit A” is attached hereto, filed herewith and made a part hereof, plaintiff's Motion to Remand is DENIED. Since the court lacks jurisdiction over plaintiff's claims against Dr. Gregory Donald Chaney, this action, insofar as it relates to Dr. Chaney, is dismissed without prejudice.

         The Clerk is directed to send copies of this Memorandum Opinion and Order to counsel of record, unrepresented parties, and to the Circuit Court of Cabell County, West Virginia.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

         EXHIBIT A

         IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF WEST VIRGINIA AT BLUEFIELD

         THE COUNTY COMMISSION OF MCDOWELL COUNTY, Plaintiff,

         v.

         MCKESSON CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

         CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:17-00946

         MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

         This civil action was filed in the Circuit Court of McDowell County, West Virginia, and removed to this court by the defendants who maintain that this court has diversity of citizenship jurisdiction. The plaintiff has filed a motion to remand that is now before the court for decision. (ECF No. 26). For reasons discussed below, the motion to remand is DENIED.

         I. Statement of the Case

         The nation, in general, and West Virginia, in particular, are experiencing an acute epidemic of drug use and related social problems caused by a flood of opioid pills.[1] The problem is especially acute in Southern West Virginia, including McDowell County. The governing body of McDowell County, the County Commission, filed this civil action in the Circuit Court of McDowell County and named as defendants three corporate distributors of opiates: McKesson Corporation, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health. All three are citizens and residents of states other than West Virginia. Named as an additional defendant is Dr. Harold Anthony Cofer, Jr., a citizen and resident of West Virginia. Defendants, in their notice of removal, assert that Dr. Cofer has been joined, in this action, solely for the purpose of defeating federal jurisdiction.

         Plaintiff charges that the corporate defendants knowingly flooded McDowell County with opioids well beyond what was necessary to address pain and other reasons residents of the county could legitimately use the drugs. Dr. Cofer, it is charged, provided written opioid prescriptions for patients, knowing that the drugs were likely to be abused, diverted or misused. The county seeks to recover damages to compensate it ...


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