The motion asks the judge to impose a gag order and other sanctions. The defendants claim the men’s statements represented “a flagrant violation of their ethical obligations as attorneys practicing before this Court and threatens defendants’ rights to a fair adjudication of the claims asserted against them.”
Attorney General’s Office spokesman Dan Tierney told The Associated Press in an email Saturday night that Dewine “respectfully declines comment.”
Cleveland.com reports that Moore declined to comment Friday because he hadn’t seen the motion and that LeBlanc didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail. Phone and email messages seeking comment were left for both attorneys Sunday by The Associated Press.
The motion comes amid preparations for a September trial over claims against drug companies by the cities of Cleveland and Akron and their respective counties, Cuyahoga and Summit. The cases are among scores from around the country being heard by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster.
A group represented by DeWine filed its own lawsuits over fallout from the opioid epidemic. A second, larger group has joined a multistate investigation of the industry.
The suits accuse pharmaceutical companies of downplaying the addictive nature of opioids and prescription painkillers largely blamed for one of the deadliest drug crises in U.S. history.
Ohio’s opioid lawsuit, in which Moore is involved, isn’t included among those Polster is overseeing, because it’s being heard in a Ross County court. DeWine has participated in settlement talks in the federal litigation.
The motion questions Moore saying that “if we try the Ohio case, if we win a verdict against these manufacturers and distributors there, it could bankrupt them” and that a jury may award $100 billion in a trial.
It notes DeWine told “60 Minutes” he had seen a set of data from the federal Automated Reports and Consolidated Ordering System, or ARCOS, database that he wasn’t allowed to talk about but that was “shocking.” He said distributors should have seen something was wrong.
LeBlanc discussed how defendants had access to the ARCOS database, which defendants say was misleading.
Information from: cleveland.com, http://www.cleveland.com