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ASPPH Advocacy Update: Oklahoma Verdict Brings New Urgency to Opioid Litigation Settlement Talks

Judge Thad Balkman of the Cleveland County District Court in Norman, Oklahoma, on Monday found Johnson & Johnson (J&J) guilty of being a public nuisance in a lawsuit brought by the Oklahoma attorney general related to the opioid crisis in the state. The court ordered J&J to pay a fine of $572 million. Other parties to the suit settled before the Oklahoma trial began. The first Federal trial in the opioid litigation is scheduled for early October in Ohio. However, there are various media reports that multi-state settlement talks are intensifying.

The ASPPH Task Force on Public Health Initiatives to Address the Opioid Crisis is completing the final review of their findings and recommendations. The ASPPH Board reviewed and approved the panel’s dozens of draft recommendations earlier this year. The draft recommendations also have been amended based on feedback received at the ASPPH Annual Meeting and Leadership Retreat. The Task Force’s report will be distributed to our membership and to the thousands of parties to the litigation before the Federal trial begins. We believe the panel’s recommendations will help inform any settlement discussions as well as inform ASPPH’s advocacy agenda moving forward.