WV Attorney General Morrisey Releases End-of-Year Review

Updated 1 year ago From a News Release by WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office obtained significant wins for the state in 2017, continuing his aggressive fight against substance abuse, tirelessly working to eliminate overregulation and protecting consumers with multiple enforcement actions.

“This year was filled with monumental victories for the people of West Virginia,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “We adopted a series of new initiatives aimed at curbing the growth of the drug epidemic, worked to protect consumers by holding businesses accountable for their actions and played a crucial role in eliminating regulations that stifled economic growth in the Mountain State.”
The Attorney General’s Office began 2017 by announcing settlements with AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, pushing the total monies received to more than $47 million with 12 drug wholesalers, the largest pharmaceutical settlement in the state’s history.
West Virginia also led a coalition of 37 states and territories urging health insurance companies to examine financial incentives that may unintentionally contribute to the opioid epidemic. Additionally, the Attorney General continued efforts to hold pharmacies and prescribers accountable for their role in the drug crisis.
The Attorney General brought further attention to the opioid crisis through his “Combating Addiction with Grace” initiative, partnerships with three colleges to share prevention information with more than 4,600 students and by helping craft language for legislation that requires county boards of education to implement opioid awareness and prevention programs into their curriculum.
On the regulation front, the Attorney General witnessed President Trump sign executive orders dismantling the so-called Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States Rule, both the result of hard work initiated by the Attorney General’s Office.
In 2016, Morrisey had led the 27-state coalition that stopped the Obama Power Plan at the U.S. Supreme Court, winning a crucial stay that protected many coal jobs.
He also supported the postponement of any decision on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s oil and natural gas rule as well as EPA’s right to reconsider and delay its implementation.
With regards to consumer protection, the Attorney General took proactive steps in alerting consumers to the massive Equifax data breach, received monies from a record-breaking $18.5 million settlement with retailer Target regarding its 2013 data breach, sued 11 asphalt and paving companies for alleged violations of the state’s Antitrust Act and successfully sued a bus company to secure refunds for two canceled school field trips.
He also expanded an antitrust lawsuit targeting Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its parent company’s president/executive director, along with 17 other generic drug manufacturers alleging price fixing for 15 generic drugs.

Other accomplishments include the following:
  • Trained law enforcement and public service workers to identify and reduce human trafficking in the Mountain State and established best practices aimed at raising awareness of the growing criminal industry. 
  • Reached student athletes, fans and school officials at more than 50 high school football games through his “Opioid Abuse Prevention Game of the Week” partnership with the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, bringing the total to more than 100 games since its inception.
  • Obtained additional drug convictions as a result of a partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in northern West Virginia.
  • Returned more than $2.6 million to the state coffers, including $1 million to reduce the backlog of drug tests at the State Police crime lab, pushing the total returned to state coffers to more than $39 million since 2013.
  • Generated about $5 million in projected savings as part of a disability fraud partnership, pushing its total savings to nearly $7.6 million since its inception in West Virginia.
  • Established gun reciprocity agreements with Montana and Wisconsin.
  • Led 21 states in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review, and ultimately strike down, a Maryland weapons ban that prohibits the sale, transfer and possession of certain firearms and ammunition storage magazines.
  • Secured a decision by the state Supreme Court of Appeals that allowed the state’s right-to-work law to take effect.
  • Fought to protect the lives of unborn children through litigation that could impact laws against discriminatory abortions, dismemberment abortions and abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, as well as to protect pro-life speech.
  • Successfully led more than 20 states in protecting the ability of West Virginia school systems to set their own policy and procedures with regards to transgender students.
  • Debuted guidelines for how convenience stores and gasoline stations can better protect consumers against skimming and safeguard financial data at the pump.
  • Protected consumers with proactive training offered to dealerships on used vehicle laws.
  • Urged the U.S. Supreme Court to safeguard the practice of lawmaker-led prayer at public meetings.
  • Supported President Trump’s executive order banning sanctuary cities and the right of individual states to prohibit such lawlessness within their borders.
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