OKLAHOMA CITY - The state attorney general will file a motion to keep an opioid lawsuit in Oklahoma rather than having it moved to federal court in Ohio.

State Attorney General Mike Hunter said the state's legal team was working to keep the state's opioid case against Purdue Pharma in the state after the company filed a motion to have the case moved to be heard in federal court in Cleveland, Ohio. 

That motion would be a motion to remand the case, stating the lawsuit should remain in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, rather than be moved. 

"Because this epidemic is so relentless, so unforgiving in the death and devastation it causes, we also ask for an emergency hearing on our motion remand," Hunter said. "We are confident in our position that this is nothing more than a stall tactic by a company terrified to answer to its Oklahoma victims. We have great confidence the federal judge will see that too."

Purdue Pharma filed a notice of removal to federal court concerning Oklahoma's case against the company. This would move the case to be heard with a number of other cases to a multi-district litigation in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Hunter said Purdue Pharma breached its agreement with the state to not remove the case to federal court. Hunter said the agreement was signed in July 2017. The company claims the state's lawsuit includes federal issues which is out of the Cleveland County district court's jurisdiction.

The state's legal team said they think the notice was filed because the team was going to take a deposition related to the political contributions made by pharmaceutical companies to candidates in Oklahoma.

The state trial is set for May 2019.