OKLAHOMA (CNN) – An Oklahoma judge ordered Johnson and Johnson to pay $572 million for the pharmaceutical giant’s role in the state’s opioid crisis.
The landmark verdict comes after a seven-week trial.
It marks the end of the first state trial attempting to hold a pharmaceutical company accountable for one of the worst health epidemics in modern history.
Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman issued the decision.
“The opioid crisis has ravaged the state of Oklahoma. It must be abated immediately. For this reason, I’m entering an abatement plan that consists of costs totaling 572-million-102-thousand-28-dollars to immediately remediate the nuisance. As I detail in my judgment, this is the amount it costs that I am constrained to order Janssen and Johnson and Johnson to pay based on the particulars of a nuisance claim and the evidence that was presented at trial.”
Johnson and Johnson, says it will appeal.
Dozens of states are suing opioid drugmakers.
However, this case in Oklahoma was the first one to reach trial.
A federal trial in Ohio, rolling nearly 2,000 cases into one, is set for this fall.
(This story was originally published on August 26, 2019)