State Supreme Court Will Handle Appeals In Opioid Ruling

Friday, December 27th 2019, 10:48 am
By: News 9

The Oklahoma State Supreme Court said it will be handling any appeals filed after the state's historic ruling against opioid maker Johnson & Johnson. 

The court said it's choosing to handle the appeals directly, rather than sending them through the state Court of Civil Appeals first. Both sides have already filed appeals to Cleveland County Judge Thad Balkman's verdict. 

Judge Balkman found Johnson & Johnson guilty in the states opioid lawsuit, under the umbrella of Oklahoma's Public Nuisance law. 

The company want the entire verdict overturned, claiming that the law doesn't apply to this particular case. 

Johnson & Johnson's appeal cites more than 30 reasons the company believes the verdict should be thrown out, or the $465 million amount the company has been ordered to pay should be lowered. 

The state wants the option to ask Johnson & Johnson for more money to resolve the opioid crisis after the first year. Right now, that amount is limited. 

Judge Balkman's final order said the state didn't provide enough evidence on how much time and money it would take to resolve the problem. 

Now that the Supreme Court is involved, appeals could be resolved quicker. 

No decision is expected for several months.