An Oklahoma judge has ruled that pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson deceptively marketed opioids, which helped fuel the state’s opioid crisis, a crisis that claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people, and must pay $572 million to the state.
The landmark decision, which was handed down by Judge Thad Balkman on Monday, is the first of its kind, in which a pharmaceutical company is being held directly responsible for one of the worst drug epidemics in American history.
“Defendants caused an opioid crisis that is evidenced by increased rates of addiction, overdose deaths and neonatal abstinence syndrome in Oklahoma,” Judge Balkman said in the ruling.
Johnson & Johnson immediately released a statement in which it was said that the company “plans to appeal the opioid judgment in Oklahoma.”
The case and the subsequent ruling have undoubtedly been closely watched by plaintiffs in other opioid lawsuits, of which there are currently more than 2,000 pending.
It is estimated that more than 130 people die every day in the United States from opioid-related drug overdoses.
Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.