Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has secured about $355 million from two groups of drug makers so far in the state’s lawsuit against opioid manufacturers. And in the first such case to go to trial, Hunter is trying to make the case that even more money should come Oklahoma’s way.
While Hunter presses the claim that consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson is to blame for Oklahoma’s opioid epidemic, he’s also facing criticism about his team’s deal-making and go-it-alone style.
Because Oklahoma’s is the first case to proceed to trial, the litigation and the state’s earlier settlements with Oxycontin-maker Purdue Pharma and Israeli-owned Teva Pharmaceuticals are being closely watched. About 1,500 similar lawsuits filed by state, local and tribal governments are consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio