Johnson & Johnson will settle Oklahoma opioid trial, attorney says

Johnson & Johnson is on trial in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit launched by the state of Oklahoma in the country’s first ever opioid trial.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter accuses one the world’s largest drug manufacturers of putting profits before responsibility and downplaying the addictive nature of opioids. Johnson & Johnson’s defense argues that the company clearly labeled the addictive nature of their drugs. The defense also added that the share of the opioid market in Oklahoma was “too small” to be responsible for the crisis.

Hunter Shkolnik, a partner at Napoli Shkolnik, told FOX Business’ Liz Claman that Johnson & Johnson will ultimately settle the Oklahoma case.

“Johnson & Johnson has a history of taking the plaintiffs to the mat. They try cases, they try usually a few of them and they generally get hit pretty hard and pretty bad,” he said on Wednesday. “Then on the appellate process, they start negotiating and settling these cases.”

More than 130 people die per day from an opioid overdose in the U.S. Opioids accounted for 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, that’s 67.8 percent of all drug overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Shkolnik, who represents hundreds of individuals in opioid cases, blamed drug companies for helping cause America's opioid epidemic.

“What we are seeing in this courtroom play out is that these companies knew what they were doing and they caused this problem,” he said.