NORMAN, Okla. – A Cleveland County judge ordered Johnson & Johnson pay $572 million dollars to the State of Oklahoma, claiming the company fueled the state’s opioid crisis.
“I’m asking the CEO of Johnson and Johnsson to put his money where his mouth is and get out his checkbook,” Attorney General Mike Hunter said.
That’s Attorney General Mike Hunter’s message to the CEO of Johnson & Johnson after a Cleveland County Judge awarded his team $572 million dollars.
Hunter calling the company “calculated and cold-blooded”, claiming it ignited the state’s opioid crisis.
“Johnson & Johnson will finally be held accountable for thousands of deaths caused by their activities,” Hunter said.
The state claiming 6,000 Oklahomans died from this epidemic over the past two decades.
Johnson & Johnson firing back still denying all wrongdoing.
“The company manufacturers are FDA approved medicines that are essential who suffer from chronic pain,” an attorney for Johnson & Johnson said.
The pharmaceutical company’s team already moving forward with an appeal saying their client is not responsible.
“It’s driven by illegally manufactured drugs that are coming into the country from Mexico and elsewhere,” an attorney for Johnson and Johnson said.
“I do hope that judge Balkman’s decision today will provide some solace to families who lost a loved one to opioids,” Hunter said.
The $572 million payout significantly lower than the $17.2 billion dollars the state asked for in court, but Hunter says he is ready to put the sum of money toward treatment and prevention programs in the state.