Recently there has been a lot of controversy over the large amounts of prescription opiate drugs that were pushed by pharmaceutical companies. Over the last decade or so, many of these drugs have resulted in long term addictions and even deaths from overdoses. Many companies benefited from this explosion in opioid drugs and they were marketed and prescribed as safe, despite the associated risks.
Johnson and Johnson is one such company implicated in the state of Oklahoma, and they may have to pay out billions of dollars to help the state repair the damage caused by opioid drugs. The lawsuit is related to their marketing practices, which helped push the drugs excessively in the name of profit.
Johnson and Johnson faces billions in losses in Oklahoma courts
This case was initially brought by the Attorney General for Oklahoma and it will be the first to conclude after a trial. It may also set a precedent for liability for other similar cases against drug manufacturers and distributors around the nation. Other defendants named in the same set of lawsuits had already settled their cases for millions of dollars each. If the attorney general is successful, the company will have to financially support various programs related to drug rehabilitation over the course of the next few decades.

The state estimates that about 6000 people in Oklahoma have died from opiate drugs since 2000.  Their lawyers are also proceeding on a theory that because the drugs were so heavily promoted and used, Johnson and Johnson along with some other companies essentially created a public nuisance by flooding the area with dangerous opioid drugs. Johnson and Johnson defended these allegations by saying that their prescription painkillers only accounted for a small fraction of the overall drug market in the state. They also argue that the state’s interpretation of the relevant public nuisance laws are not applicable to their marketing practices.
Litigation related to dangerous products
There is an entire area of the law that holds businesses responsible for harms that they cause to the public. This is essentially a kind of products liability case.
Companies who have been found to disregard known risks and use or market dangerous products over the years have found themselves in similar situations. Most notably, litigation related to tobacco products, asbestos, and other dangerous and carcinogenic substances have resulted in billions of dollars worth of liability in the last few decades.
The good news for victims of these products and their families is that there are ways to be compensated after any health problems or deaths can be tied to their use. Many lawyers who handle class action cases, personal injury, and other aspects of tort law can help those who were affected by the opioid crisis in Oklahoma and all other states in the nation.
Contact an attorney about opioid issues
If you or someone in your family has experienced addiction and health problems due to opioid drugs in the last several years, it may be possible to join one of the many lawsuits related to these prescriptions around the country. There are local lawyers available in Oklahoma and every other state ready to help.