Oklahoma is set to become the first state to go to trial in a lawsuit against the makers of pharmaceuticals blamed for contributing to the nation’s Opioid Crisis.
The trial on Tuesday against consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson and some of its subsidiaries, could bring documents and testimony to light that show what companies knew, when they knew it, and how they responded.
The outcome could also shape negotiations on how to resolve the roughly 1,500 Opioid lawsuits.
Oklahoma alleges that the drugmakers helped create a public health crisis in the state by extensively marketing highly addictive Opioids for years in a way that overstated their effectiveness and underplayed the risk of addiction.
Since it’s the first of the many Opioid lawsuits set to go to trial, the Oklahoma suit could stand as a test case for the companies and other states to hone their own legal strategies and arguments.