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Oklahoma Supreme Court Overturns Opioid Ruling Against Johnson & Johnson

Oklahoma Supreme Court Overturns Opioid Ruling Against Johnson & Johnson
  • Oklahoma’s Supreme Court struck down a 2019 ruling against Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) and overturned a $465 million fine, finding a judge incorrectly interpreted public nuisance laws.
  • The 5-to-1 decision that overturned the $465 million verdict issued by Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman in 2019 is a blow to the argument that companies that marketed, sold, and distributed opioids created a public nuisance.
  • Because J&J had appealed the previous ruling, none of the fines had been paid yet.
  • “In reaching this decision, we do not minimize the severity of the harm that thousands of Oklahoma citizens have suffered because of opioids,” the majority opinion wrote. “However grave the problem of opioid addiction is in Oklahoma, public nuisance law does not provide a remedy for this harm.”
  • The one dissenting judge, James E. Edmondson, said he disagreed with the ruling against J&J but thought that the decision should be remanded to the lower court.
  • Related Link: California Judge Rules For Drugmakers In Major Opioid Litigation.
  • Price Action: JNJ shares are up 0.82% at $163.84 during the market session on the last check Wednesday.

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Posted-In: Briefs opioid abuse OpioidsBiotech News Health Care Legal General

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