BREAKING NEWS: Judge orders pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $572million in landmark ruling where he said they ARE responsible for ‘ravaging’ Oklahoma by creating an opioid crisis
- Judge Thad Balkman ordered J&J to pay $572million to Oklahoma
A judge has ruled on a landmark opioid lawsuit case, demanding that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson give $572million to the state of Oklahoma in the first ever court ruling to hold a company responsible for the opioid crisis.
Judge Thad Balkman handed down his ruling on Monday after a two-month long trial.
He said the company was responsible for ‘ravaging’ the state of Oklahoma by misleading customers with its marketing and creating an opioid crisis.
While the first of its kind, the settlement is a far cry from the $17billion the state had asked for.
It was the first of its kind and accused Johnson & Johnson, one of the world’s largest drugs manufacturers, of being responsible for the opioid crisis in Oklahoma.
The company, unlike its competitors, fought it.
Purdue Pharma and Teva, the two other opioid manufacturers most commonly blamed for the crisis, settled with Oklahoma out of court.
As part of their case, prosecutors presented evidence from a range of experts including the families of young people who had overdosed on opioids to marketing experts and medical examiners.
They told how J&J used aggressive marketing practices to push their goods onto the market and into doctors’ hands.
The company argued that it was not to blame for the crisis and that if doctors over-prescribed their products, they should not be held accountable.
Its lawyers also argued that while other drugs may have clocked up deaths, its products were scarcely associated with overdoses.
It was not the first time a pharmaceutical company has been sued before for opioids abuse, but it was the first time the case went to trial.
In the past, the pharmaceutical giants have settled privately.