Johnson & Johnson Hit With $572M Opioid Judgment

NBC News reports:

Johnson & Johnson must pay over $572 million for its role in the Oklahoma opioid epidemic that officials claim led to more than 6,000 deaths in the state over nearly two decades, a judge ruled Monday.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter claimed in court that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and its pharmaceutical subsidiary, Janssen, marketed opioids to doctors while downplaying the risks of the addictive painkillers since the 1990s. The state claimed that the company’s sales push created “a public nuisance” that led to more than 6,000 deaths in Oklahoma over nearly two decades.

J&J has denied any wrongdoing and its attorney, John Sparks, disputed the application of the public nuisance law made by Oklahoma prosecutors. Sparks said the state was misinterpreting the law, having previously limited it to disputes involving property or public spaces.