ALBUQUERQUE — A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed by New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas against pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corporation, will be returned to the state court where the case was originally filed in April.
In what Balderas is calling a "key victory in New Mexico's lawsuit against major opioid manufacturers and distributors," a federal judge denied McKesson's attempt to bring the state's lawsuit into federal multi-district litigation in an Ohio federal court.
"I’m pleased the federal court saw through the multibillion dollar corporation’s ploy so quickly and sent our case back to Santa Fe where it belongs, but this delay unquestionably cost us lives and desperately needed funds to combat New Mexico’s opioid epidemic," Balderas said in a statement.
"I fully expect these companies to fight us every step of the way and use every dirty trick in the book, but in the end our office will hold them accountable to help repair the damage they've caused to New Mexican children, families and entire communities."
According to the Attorney General's Office, in addition to the McKesson lawsuit, Balderas is also part of a nationwide effort to negotiate an opioid industry settlement.
Also according to the Attorney General's Office, the New Mexico Department of Health shows 500 people in the state have died from drug overdose in the past two years, with one out of every three of the deaths related to opioids.