Trial will proceed as scheduled
NORMAN – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following statement after Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman denied Johnson & Johnson’s motion for directed judgment, meaning the trial will proceed as scheduled.
Defendants filed the motion after the state rested last week, arguing not enough evidence had been produced for the trial to continue. Judge Balkman determined the state had offered enough evidence for the public nuisance claim to proceed.
Attorney General Hunter said the ruling by Judge Balkman is a win for the state and the victims of the opioid epidemic.
“The motion, filed by the company last week, was the latest attempt to cut and run from the crisis it created,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Our case has revealed how corporate greed got in the way of responsible practices by Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries. Our evidence has shown how the company perpetuated the epidemic through the targeting of high prescribing doctors, repeatedly ignoring warnings to clean up its act by the federal government and its own scientific advisers and the myriad of other deceitful practices on its way to selling more highly addictive drugs to a vulnerable population.
“In every turn of this case, Johnson & Johnson has attempted to keep the judge and the public from seeing the truth. Luckily, Judge Balkman has seen through all of these desperate motions that have attempted to remove, halt or delay the trial and justice for the thousands of deaths due to the epidemic.”
Read the state’s response to the company’s motion for judgement, here.