Oklahoma Cuts J&J Opioid Fine by $107 Million
Oklahoma judge Thad Balkman has reduced the fine levied on Johnson & Johnson in a landmark opioid case concluded in August by $107 million, from $57 2million to $465 million. The reduction takes account of the court’s miscalculation in the state’s favor.
The $465 million figure covers Oklahoma’s opioid epidemic abatement costs for one year. After the first decision, state officials had sought to secure additional payments from J&J payments, but Balkman pushed back against the attempts.
J&J said last summer it planned to appeal the judgment, which is unrelated to the much wider litigation at the a national level, which has been bundled for the most part in a federal court in Cleveland, Ohio.
Oklahoma prosecutors also sued two other drugmakers, Teva and Purdue Pharma, but those two companies settled ahead of a trial for a combined $355 million.
As lawyers, plaintiffs and state governments continue to wrestle with fallout from the nation’s opioid crisis, Purdue, which manufactures the opioid OxyContin, has now convinced 24 states and the District of Columbia to comply with a bankruptcy court injunction halting opioid lawsuits against the company and its controlling Sackler family, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said this week.
Last month, Purdue was given a temporary reprieve from lawsuits until April 8 as it continues with bankruptcy proceedings in New York. Several jurisdictions initially opposed the extension but WSJ said those that had opposed it will have the chance to change their agreement to comply with the order.
The extension gives Purdue and its lawyers more time for settlement talks without challenges from lawsuits in other courts.