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Judge Balkman Denies Drug Manufacturers’ Motion for Summary Judgment

Judge Balkman Denies Drug Manufacturers’ Motion for Summary Judgment

NORMAN – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following statement after Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman denied both the Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceuticals’ respective motions for summary judgment.

Defendants sought summary judgment to have the case thrown out, arguing the state’s public nuisance law didn’t apply to the state’s claim and that the state had no evidence that the defendants caused the opioid epidemic ravaging Oklahoma.

Arguments were made by both parties on Friday, where Judge Balkman took it under advisement. The trial remains on schedule for May 28.

“Last week, we heard more arguments and excuses by the defendants as to why this case should not be heard,” Attorney General Hunter said. “The Oklahoma Supreme Court and now, on multiple occasions, Judge Balkman, has said this case should proceed to trial. These rulings were made based on the rule of law and the merits of our case.

“The team and I appreciate Judge Balkman’s hard work in reviewing and ruling on defendants’ motions. Although we are only 16 days from beginning our trial, the parties remain bogged down in defendants’ voluminous pretrial motions. Nonetheless, the team is prepared for May 28 where we will show how these companies maliciously deceived Oklahoma doctors, patients and families, leading to the worst manmade disaster our state, and indeed, our country, has ever seen.” 

 To read the order, click here