Alabama attorney general dismisses JeffCo lawsuit

MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - Alabama Attorney General Troy King announced Thursday he was dismissing five lawsuits filed on behalf of five district attorneys, including one in Jefferson County.

In a statement to FOX6 News, King said the five lawsuits did not have merit and were improperly brought by private attorneys on behalf of district attorneys in the counties of Tallapoosa, Colbert, Wilcox, Autauga, and Jefferson County's Bessemer division.

"These suits represent a contortion of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act in ways that those who wrote it would no longer recognize," King said. "Never before has anyone suggested that this law permits the suing of businesses in Alabama... county by county, in the name of the State by private lawyers who have not been authorized by the Attorney General to do so. These actions threaten every business in Alabama and are an end run around the tort reform for which so many of us have fought."

King notified the Circuit Courts in each of these counties that the litigation is due to be dismissed. King said Alabama law provides for the attorney general to direct and control all litigation concerning the interests of the state.

The lawsuits in question were filed against CVS Caremark Corporation, Rite Aid Corporation, Wal-Mart Stores and Walgreen Co. Inc., alleging violation of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act. King said the allegation was that the pharmacies filled prescriptions with generic drugs when doctors had not specifically authorized the use of generics.

King characterized these cases as "extortive lawsuits that are wrong."