Case Study: Johnson & Johnson

Historic Trial Win Amid Massive MDL

In what The New York Times calls “one of the most complicated and gargantuan legal battles in American history,” O’Melveny is lead litigation counsel for Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Jansen Pharmaceuticals as the companies confront thousands of claims seeking to hold them liable for the country’s opioid-abuse epidemic.

In that role, an O’Melveny team tried the nation’s first opioid case to go to trial. The State sought to lay the blame for the state’s entire opioid crisis on J&J and Janssen, the only defendants who refused to settle, and sought US$17.7 billion.

After a seven-week, televised trial that was one of the most closely-watched legal proceedings in the last decade, the court ordered J&J to pay just US$572 million. The court reduced the judgment to US$465 million after O’Melveny moved to correct a mathematical error in the judgment—the final sum is 2.63% of the billions sought by the State.

O’Melveny is handling the appeal while simultaneously litigating additional opioids cases for Johnson & Johnson in almost every state in the country.

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