WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Monday’s ruling ordering Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million has litigators – who are fighting against the opioid crisis – hoping for a domino effect.
Attorney Brad Altman is representing Wichita, Clay and Childress counties. All have taken action against multiple manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin.
“The Oklahoma finding that this judge made and the evidence that has been developed has really started to put a lot of pressure on these defendants,” Altman said.
Wichita, Clay and Childress counties are joining over 2,000 cities and counties across the nation in a multi-district litigation that will go to trial before a federal judge in Cleveland, Ohio in October this year. Their goal focused is to abate the crisis.
Altman said they have evidence, including emails, that prove pharmaceutical executives played a role in the opioid crisis.
“…they were dredging their sales force to look past what the studies show and go in there and tell these doctors that ‘Hey, it’s ok to prescribe these opiates for 90 days instead of three days,” Altman recalls of the emails.
Although he said it is hard to predict what a jury will decide, he is optimistic that in the near future companies will be more eager to settle now that their business practices are being exposed.
“Now it’s time for these defendants to start coming to grips with making a settlement because the judgments in these cases are going to be extremely large if they don’t settle,” Altman stated.