Judge ruling in J&J opioid trial expected Monday

An Oklahoma judge is expected to issue a ruling Aug. 26 on whether Johnson & Johnson is liable for fueling the state's opioid epidemic, according to CNBC.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter argued in the trial that J&J's marketing and sales practices led to an oversupply of addictive opioids and a "public nuisance." Mr. Hunter is asking Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman to hold J&J accountable and to pay more than $17 billion to the state. 

Attorneys representing the drugmaker argued that the "public nuisance" claim is unfounded, saying the disputes over the law in the state were previously limited to just property or public spaces.

"The state ignores this well-established law and now argues that public nuisance allows them to compel any party allegedly contributing in any measure to a social problem to fund all programs that state administrators dream up to address it. This is not and should not be the law," stated John Sparks, the attorney representing J&J. 

 A ruling against J&J could have a ripple effect on outstanding opioid litigation, possibly prompting big payouts in similar cases across the country. 

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