A judge in the J&J Oklahoma verdict handed down his ruling. This landmark case is involving the opioid crisis in America and who’s responsible. The 2019 opioid lawsuit involved the pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson. It seems this is only the beginning for Johnson and Johnson, who are looking at many more civil suits in the future relating to opioid addiction and overdose.
What does this ruling say about the reality of an opioid epidemic? How did the judge react to the defendant’s evidence? Lastly, what are the final thoughts about this landmark ruling? Keep reading to find out about the changes happening in America and the fight against opioids.
The Opioid Epidemic’s Sad Reality
Because of this ruling, more light will be shed on the matter of opioid addiction and the families it hurts. The amount of people dying each day from opioid overdose is astounding and the public is saying it is time to take a stand.
According to the CDC opioid crisis statistics, 130 people die each day from an overdose involving opioids. From 1999 to 2017, more than 400,000 people have died, all relating to the overdose of legal and illegal opioids. The reality is these numbers are not dropping. This is past the point of crisis, this is an epidemic.
According to the Defendants
Although the J&J Oklahoma verdict is decided, the company is standing firm in its beliefs. Attorneys for the defendants made it clear that Johnson & Johnson is innocent and not to blame for the opioid problem in America. They argued that the law was being incorrectly used to place the blame on them.
Johnson & Johnson claimed it promoted the drugs to doctors and healthcare facilities with the thought that pain was not being treated as it should. People were becoming dependent on prescription painkillers due to doctors not doing their job. They even coined the word “pseudoaddiction.” This meant that patients just thought they were hooked on painkillers when they really weren’t. Again, they blame the doctors for this problem.
Along with J&J Oklahoma verdict, other pharmaceutical giants Purdue Pharma and Teva were involved in the lawsuit. Johnson &Johnson chose to go to trial while Purdue and Teva decided to settle with Oklahoma.
OK’s Final Ruling Against J&J
The prosecution proved its case and won. But, what evidence did they use to achieve a win?
Reports are showing that Judge Balkman concurred that Johnson & Johnson used marketing and promotional strategies that were misleading. Because of these actions, a public nuisance occurred. Judge Balkman agreed that J&J had purposefully disobeyed 50 O.S Section 1.
Judge Balkman also spoke about the good people of Oklahoma who had suffered from the effects of unethical marketing and promotion. He understands he still has jurisdiction over this case and understands that their will more rulings he has to make. But for now, Johnson & Johnson will need to accept what has come upon them.
What Makes a Landmark Case?
This is being coined a landmark case for many reasons.
- Oklahoma became the first state to have a case like this go to trial.
- A precedent for future cases of this nature have been set.
- Has opened the doors for others who feel like Oklahoma feels.
It will stand the test time and most likely be in the law books of law schools around the world. This is a pivotal moment when society and lawmakers are calling out pharmaceutical companies. They are showing executives who may feel untouchable that they will be held accountable for their actions.
What’s Johnson & Johnson’s Future?
Johnson & Johnson is choosing to play out issues in the courtroom unlike other pharmaceutical companies choosing to settle.
What does the future hold for a company that may be trying their luck a few too many times?
Financial stability is huge for any company, especially Johnson & Johnson. They have already shelled out millions of dollars due to the baby powder lawsuits. What more can they stand to lose?
The current ruling of 572 million is to be completed over a 30-year span with an abatement.
Oddly enough, Johnson & Johnson experienced a considerable hike in their stocks. Topping out at $132.40, investors appeared to be thankful the judge did not rule in favor of the 17 billion the prosecution was seeking. To the company’s dismay, this hike in stock prices did not stay up for long. By the next day stockholders saw stocks drop to only a 1.4% rise in price.
Message Behind Opioid Lawsuit Rulings
Judge Balkman has made a huge statement about opioids and their abuse in his state of Oklahoma. His ruling will reach farther still to the other 50 states of America and possibly worldwide.
This is a ruling that states their is more to the crisis of opioid abuse. Society does not have to stand alone and fight this battle. There is so much more that can be done and pharmaceutical companies need to step up and take responsibility for their part.
Our Final Thoughts
The abuse of opioids is leading to a rise in unnecessary deaths in the United States. As a society, it is our job to shed light upon this epidemic and hold those responsible that have taken part in it.
Many professionals and journalists have given their thoughts about the opioid crisis in our country. One journalist from Cincinnati stated that Ohio was at the epicenter of these burgeoning lawsuits. They also noted that the death toll from opioid overdoses is in par with the Civil War. Something needs to be done.
Johnson & Johnson is just one of many companies that are bound to see consequences for their actions. Choosing to place the blame on doctors is astounding. With 2,000 cases just like this one on the docket, we are bound to hear more news like this.
If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, there is help. To start learning more, visit the other blogs on our website. If you are needing help for addiction, contact us at (866) 578-7471.