Oklahoma judge expected to rule Monday in opioid case

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — A judge is expected to rule next week in Oklahoma’s case alleging consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson helped fuel the opioid crisis in the state.

A court spokesman says Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman is expected to read his decision in open court at 3 p.m. Monday.

The trial began on May 28 and lasted about six weeks.

Led by Attorney General Mike Hunter, Oklahoma claims the company helped create a public nuisance by aggressively marketing its painkillers and downplaying the risk of addiction. The state estimates it will cost as much as $17 billion to abate the crisis.

Attorneys for the company maintain they were part of a lawful and heavily regulated industry and that opioid drugs serve a critical role helping people deal with debilitating pain.

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