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Judge Thad Balkman speaks during Oklahoma's case blaming consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries for the state's opioid drug crisis, in Norman, Okla. Closing arguments are expected to begin on Monday, July 15, 2019. Judge Thad Balkman speaks during Oklahoma’s case blaming consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries for the state’s opioid drug crisis, in Norman, Oklahoma, in  July. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

An Oklahoma judge has ordered that Johnson & Johnson pay more than $572 million to abate the state’s opioid crisis.

The bench verdict, announced by Cleveland County District Court Judge Thad Balkman on Monday, comes in the first trial against an opioid company. Oklahoma had asked for a $17.5 billion abatement plan over 30 years, alleging that Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, as the sole defendant, created a public nuisance when it oversupplied opiate pharmaceuticals in the state, leading to massive deaths and addictions.

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Amanda Bronstad

Amanda Bronstad is the ALM staff reporter covering class actions and mass torts nationwide. She writes the email dispatch Critical Mass. She is based in Los Angeles.

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