SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

A lawsuit against “Johnson & Johnson” and other companies for $ 50 billion

A lawyer representing several counties in California, USA, said at the beginning of a lawsuit that four drug companies contributed to the spread of the opioid epidemic in the United States by misleading marketing of their drugs and reducing the risks of their addiction.

The provinces accuse Johnson & Johnson, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Indo International, and AbbVie’s Allergan unit of fueling a drug crisis that has killed nearly 500,000 people from opioid overdoses over two decades.

Santa Clara counties, Los Angeles, Orange and Oakland counties are asking drug companies to pay more than $ 50 billion to limit the overall damage they have caused in addition to imposing penalties on them.

Fidelma Fitzpatrick, the plaintiffs’ attorney for the Orange County Supreme Court judge, said the cause of the case was a legacy, left by companies as a result of promoting opioid analgesics to treat chronic pain, resulting in a “mountain” of addictive pills that plunged the state and country.

“Evidence will show that all of these companies knew what was going to happen, that their opioids would cause the overwhelming burden of addiction, overdose, and the death that California and its residents witnessed,” she added.

Defense lawyers countered that these companies’ drugs were only a small part of the opioid market, by warning doctors of their dangers and that they could not be proven to be behind the health crisis.
“You will not hear from a single doctor that he has been misled,” Tifa attorney Coley James said.

There are more than 3,300 similar lawsuits due to the opioid crisis nationwide.

Only one case went to court in the opioid case and was won by the state of Oklahoma in 2019 in a $ 465 million court ruling against Johnson & Johnson, which is on appeal.