Closing arguments set in Oklahoma’s case against drugmakers

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Closing arguments are scheduled to begin in Oklahoma’s case against Johnson & Johnson alleging the consumer products giant and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state’s opioid crisis.

Each side will have about two hours Monday to make their cases to Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman, who is expected to issue his ruling at a later date.

Oklahoma’s is the first state case to proceed to trial and could help shape negotiations over roughly 1,500 similar lawsuits filed by state, local and tribal governments that have been consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio.

Oklahoma claims the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company aggressively marketed opioids in the state in a way that overstated their effectiveness to treat chronic pain and understated the addiction risks.

Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson say the company acted responsibly.

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