The State AG Report Weekly Update June 1, 2017

2018 AG Elections

Democrat Steve Deetelbach Announces Bid for Ohio Attorney General

  • Steve Deetelbach formally announced his candidacy to become Ohio AG. Deetelbach is the first Democrat to officially enter the 2018 Ohio AG race, following the announcement of Republican David Yost in January 2017.
  • Deetelbach and Yost are seeking an open seat currently held by Republican AG Mike DeWine, who is term-limited.
  • Deetelbach is a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio and previously served on the platform committee for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Deetelbach currently co-leads the white collar defense and corporate investigations group in BakerHostetler’s Cleveland office.

Steve Marshall Announces Bid to Keep Alabama Attorney General Post

  • According to reports, AG Steve Marshall formally announced his candidacy to remain as AG following his February appointment. AG Marshall was appointed by former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley to fill the unexpired term of former AG Luther Strange, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate.
  • Prior to being appointed, AG Marshall served as District Attorney for the 27th Judicial Circuit in Marshall County, Alabama, was a founding partner of McLaughlin & Marshall, and was a legal analyst for the Alabama House of Representatives.

Energy

New Jersey Attorney General Reaches Settlement with Energy Company Over Alleged Environmental Damage

  • New Jersey AG Christopher Porrino reached a settlement, on behalf of New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, with energy company ConocoPhillips Company to resolve allegations that its gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (“MTBE”) caused environmental damage and contaminated groundwater.
  • According to the AG’s office, ConocoPhillips allegedly contaminated the groundwater at sites throughout the state by manufacturing, blending, and distributing MTBE.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, ConocoPhillips will pay $39 million in damages to New Jersey. As previously reported, ConocoPhillips reached a similar settlement with Illinois AG Lisa Madigan regarding water contamination.

Pharmaceuticals

43 Attorneys General Reach Multi-State Settlement with Drug Manufacturer Over Marketing Practices

  • 43 AGs reached a multi-state settlement with over-the-counter drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., and its division McNeil-PPC, Inc. (collectively “Johnson & Johnson”) to resolve allegations that it misrepresented compliance with federally mandated Good Manufacturing Practices (“cGMP”).
  • According to the AGs’ offices, Johnson & Johnson allegedly represented that its over-the-counter drugs facilities complied with cGMP, but the Food and Drug Administration and AG investigations allegedly revealed that its facilities did not comply with cGMP between 2009 and 2011, which resulted in recalls of certain products.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, Johnson & Johnson will pay $33 million and is prohibited from representing compliance with cGMP if, among other things, a recall has occurred within the last 12 months or the company fails to respond to an AG request within 60 days regarding the identity of the wholesaler or warehouses in their state connected to a recalled drug.

Ohio Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Prescription Opioid Manufacturers Over Allegedly Fraudulent Marketing Practices

  • Ohio AG Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit against five major prescription opioid manufacturers–Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Johnson & Johnson, and Allergan–for alleged violations of state common law and the state Consumer Sales Practices Act by misrepresenting the risks and benefits of opioids.
  • According to the complaint, the opioid manufacturers allegedly engaged in a deceptive marketing campaign which allegedly exacerbated the opioid crisis in the state.
  • The lawsuit seeks, among other things, a declaration that the companies’ actions were illegal, an injunction to stop continued misrepresentations of opioid use, civil penalties, monetary damages to the state, and restitution to consumers that purchased “unnecessary opioid prescriptions for chronic pain.”
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