Law360: Okla. High Court Erases J&J's $465M Opioid Defeat

November 09, 2021

The Oklahoma Supreme Court overturned a US$465 million opioid verdict against Johnson & Johnson, finding that the nine-figure award granted in 2019 was unjustifiable because it relied on a misunderstanding of “public nuisance” law. “This court defers the policy-making to the legislative and executive branches and rejects the unprecedented expansion of public nuisance law,” the decision said. “The district court erred in finding J&J’s conduct created a public nuisance.” The attorney general’s theory “would create unlimited and unprincipled liability for product manufacturers ... This is why our court has never applied public nuisance law to the manufacturing, marketing and selling of lawful products,” the Oklahoma Supreme Court said. Johnson & Johnson is represented by O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

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