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Oklahoma Judge Rules Johnson & Johnson Must Pay $572 Million in Opioid Trial

An Oklahoma judge ruled on Monday that pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson is responsible in part for the opioid crisis that ravaged the state due to deceptive marketing practices and must pay $572 million. Judge Thad Balkman wrote in his ruling that Johnson & Johnson “engaged in false and misleading marketing of both their drugs and opioids generally, and the law makes clear that such conduct is more than enough to serve as the act or omission necessary to establish the first element of Oklahoma’s public nuisance.” The state initially asked for $17.2 billion, alleging that the drug company created a public health crisis that killed over 6,000 Oklahomans and arguing that Johnson & Johnson had become a “public nuisance”. The ruling for $572 million will only support the state’s recovery program costs for a year. “Though several of the state’s witnesses testified that the plan will take at least 20 years to work,” the judge wrote in his ruling, “the state did not present sufficient evidence of the amount of time and costs necessary beyond year one to abate the opioid crisis.” Oklahoma has also received settlements from Purdue Pharma for $270 million and Teva Pharmaceuticals for $85 million […]

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