In June 2012, McGraw filed suit against Cardinal Health of Dublin, Ohio, alleging the company contributed to Southern West Virginia's problem with prescription painkillers.
On the same day, McGraw also filed a second lawsuit -- with essentially the same allegations -- against AmerisourceBergen and a dozen other out-of-state drug wholesalers.
McGraw filed the lawsuits separately because one of the outside lawyers working with Cagle identified a potential conflict of interest on the Cardinal Health case.
On Monday, Assistant Attorney General Maryclaire Akers said the cases also shouldn't be consolidated because Morrisey has recused himself from the Cardinal Health lawsuit, but continues to manage the lawsuit that names the 13 other drug wholesalers.
In July, Morrisey announced he recused himself from the Cardinal Health Case, after the Gazette reported that his wife, Denise Henry, has lobbied for the drug company in Washington, D.C. since at least 2002. The Gazette also reported that Cardinal Health helped pay for Morrisey's inauguration party.
Morrisey, a Republican, has said that he recused himself "orally" -- but not in writing -- from the Cardinal Health lawsuit the day he took office in January. He assigned his chief deputy, Dan Greear, to manage the case.
Morrisey alleged that McGraw "implied" at a parade during last year's campaign that McGraw filed suit against Cardinal Health to retaliate against Morrisey for running against him. McGraw said he never spoke to Morrisey about the Cardinal Health lawsuit.
Last month, the Gazette reported that Morrisey has lobbied for a national drug wholesaler trade association whose members are now being sued by the attorney general's office. Ten of the 13 companies named in the Boone County lawsuit belong to the Healthcare Distribution Management Association, an Arlington, Va.-based trade group.
Morrisey has not stepped aside from that case.
The trade group paid Morrisey $250,000 for his advocacy work over 16 months, according to congressional records. Morrisey's contract with the trade association ended in December 2011.
On Monday, Boone Circuit Judge William Thompson set an Oct. 21, 2014, trial date for both lawsuits. The judge also plans to hold monthly conferences to get updates on the cases. Thompson said he would probably assign a mediator in an attempt to settle the lawsuits.Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.