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Judge rules against Johnson & Johnson in opioid trial in Oklahoma

By Yana Berman

District judge of Oklahoma ruled against Johnson & Johnson in a landmark opioid suit, CNBC reported on Monday, August 26.

According to Thad Balkman’s decision cited by CNBC, the drugmaker was for the first time found accountable for fueling the opioid crisis. The judge claimed that the defendants Janssen and J&J launched misleading advertising campaigns and forced doctors to prescribe higher doses of opioids. These actions led to increased rates of addiction among U.S. citizens, he concluded.

J&J, in its turn, called the decision flawed. The company’s representatives stated that the state of Oklahoma failed to provide enough evidence to prove that J&J’s products had caused a spike in the opioid epidemic. The lawyers are set to appeal the decision.

The fine of $572 million awarded by the judge is significantly less than it was expected, with the investors citing the possibility of a $5 billion penalty.

As the verdict was read, J&J’s stock rose around 2% in post-market trading. Moreover, the shares of other drugmakers, including Teva Pharmaceutical and Endo International, also rose in prise amid the judge’s decision.

Judge rules against Johnson & Johnson in opioid trial in Oklahoma

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