CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The largest prescription drug distributor in the U.S. is trying to shield its CEO from being deposed in West Virginia’s lawsuit over its opioid epidemic.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports lawyers for McKesson Corp. filed a motion last week saying “burdening” McKesson CEO John Hammergren with preparing and sitting for the deposition would interfere with the company’s operations and would “open the door” for hundreds of similar requests. The company faces more than 500 lawsuits across the country about its opioid shipments.

The state’s opioid epidemic has been blamed on the oversupply of prescription painkillers.

A lawyer representing Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s office is scheduled to question five McKesson Corp. executives under oath at the company’s San Francisco headquarters this month.

The case is scheduled to go to trial next April.


Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.