Aug 26, 2019 - Health

Johnson & Johnson loses Oklahoma opioids lawsuit

A judge's gavel about to crush a red and white pill.

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A judge in Oklahoma ruled today that Johnson & Johnson was responsible for fueling the state's opioid epidemic and will have to pay $572 million in damages — far less than the $17 billion the state had demanded. J&J said it would appeal the decision.

Why it matters: This is a groundbreaking ruling and a potentially ominous harbinger for the opioid companies and distributors at the heart of the enormous national lawsuit pending before an Ohio judge.

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