(Reuters) – Oklahoma’s attorney general is expected on Monday to urge a judge to find Johnson & Johnson responsible for flooding the market with painkillers and fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic, as the first trial in nationwide litigation over the drug crisis comes to an end.
Lawyers for Attorney General Mike Hunter and J&J are set to deliver closing arguments in state court in Norman, Oklahoma following six weeks of testimony from current and former J&J executives and victims of the epidemic.
Case - Actions - State - Governments - Drug
The case is one of more than 2,000 actions by state and local governments accusing drug manufacturers of contributing to an epidemic linked to a record 47,600 opioid overdose deaths in 2017, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Oklahoma case is being closely watched by plaintiffs in other opioid lawsuits, particularly in 1,900 cases pending in Ohio brought largely by cities and counties against J&J and other companies.
Judge - Litigation - Settlement - October - Trial
The federal judge overseeing that litigation has been pushing for a settlement ahead of an October trial.
Oklahoma says that starting in the 1990s, New Jersey-based J&J used misleading marketing to push doctors to prescribe more opioids.
State - Claims - J - J - Painkillers
The state claims that J&J, which sold the painkillers Duragesic and...
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