Mike Hunter

Chris Landsberger / The Oklahoman

After a seven-week trial, a judge in Oklahoma is now considering whether Johnson & Johnson should be held responsible for the state's opioid epidemic.

The lawsuit, which is the first of its kind to play out in court, alleges Johnson & Johnson helped ignite the opioid crisis with aggressive marketing, leading to thousands of overdose deaths. The state is asking for more than $17 billion.

Chris Landsberger / The Oklahoman

The federal government is seeking its slice of Oklahoma’s recent $270 million settlement with Purdue Pharmaceuticals, and the bill could be millions of dollars.

Government officials are bickering over hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements paid by Big Pharma, stemming from the nation's deadly opioid epidemic.

The pharmaceutical industry paid out more than half a billion dollars over the last year alone. All sides expect the scale of settlements to grow fast as more cases go to trial.

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Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET:

The first case in a flood of litigation against opioid drug manufacturers opened on Tuesday in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter's suit alleges Johnson & Johnson, the nation's largest drugmaker, helped ignite a public health crisis that has killed thousands of state residents.

Johnson & Johnson is the sole defendant in the case after two other companies — Teva Pharmaceuticals and Purdue Pharma — both settled with the state before the trial began.

An Israel-based pharmaceutical company has agreed to an $85 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma over its alleged role in fueling the opioid crisis.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter had accused Teva Pharmaceuticals of creating a public nuisance through its production and marketing of opioids. In a statement announcing the settlement, Teva said the agreement "does not establish any wrongdoing on the part of the company." Teva also said it "has not contributed to the abuse of opioids in Oklahoma in any way."

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a bill signed by Governor Stitt which he had originally vetoed giving patients the right to choose their own pharmacy provider and lawmakers pass a measure putting restrictions on the powers of the Attorney General over settlements.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

A case that could signal the outcome of a flood of litigation against opioid drug manufacturers begins May 28th in Oklahoma.  

The bench trial is poised to be the first of its kind to play out in court.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter’s suit alleges Johnson and Johnson and Teva pharmaceuticals helped ignite a public health crisis that has killed thousands of state residents.

President Trump has granted a full pardon to former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, who was convicted by a military court in 2009 for killing an Iraqi prisoner suspected of being part of al-Qaida. Behenna was initially sentenced to 25 years; he was released on parole in 2014.

A week after winning a $270 million settlement against Purdue Pharma, Oklahoma is dropping a laundry list of civil claims against drug companies at the center of the national opioid epidemic. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said the move would "refocus" the lawsuit slated to go to trial May 28.

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