The Great Chain Robbery

By The West Virginia Record | Oct 2, 2009

"You've got 24 hours to get out of town!" That's what the lawman says to troublemakers in the westerns.

It's essentially what our own state attorney general says, too -– only it's productive businesses he's driving away instead of troublemakers.

And he's not running them out of town; he's running them out of the state. Even worse, the reputation he's creating for West Virginia will make other businesses think twice about locating here.

Darrell "Quick Draw" McGraw and his attorney friends are masquerading as do-gooders at our expense.

Quick Draw's 2001 suit against OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma netted more than $3 million in attorneys' fees for his private lawyer hombres. His Visa and MasterCard suit yielded $3.9 million more for the boys. Eli Lilly & Co. recently handed over $6.75 million in legal fee plunder.

The McGraw cabal now has its sights set on drugstore chains. They've targeted Rite-Aid, CVS, Walgreen's, Walmart, Kmart, Kroger, and Target with a class action suit accusing them of overcharging for generic drugs and violating state consumer protection law. They cleverly filed the suit in lawsuit friendly Boone County, despite the fact that Kroger was the only one of the seven chains to have an outlet there.

But the intended victims outsmarted Quick Draw, getting the case removed to federal court where the defendants feel they have a better chance of a fair trial.

Win or lose, McGraw and his favored lawyers are likely to continue. They've gotten away with legal attacks for too long, and they've made too much money to give up voluntarily.

Eventually, though, they will run out of victims. Quick Draw's going to say "Get out and stay out!" once too often, and there won't be any productive businesses left in West Virginia.

We'll have to leave, too -– to find work in some other state. Maybe the citizenry should consider Darrell McGraw as the one who should be run out of town.

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