OK Supreme Court is Team Opioid
12:33 PM EST on November 10, 2021
The crowning achievement of Mike Hunter's reign as Attorney General has disintegrated into dust like his political career.
Yesterday afternoon, The Oklahoma Supreme Court overturned the historic ruling that required Johnson & Johnson to fork over $465-million for their role in getting white people hooked on opioid painkillers.
According to the court, the excuse Mike Hunter came up with to file the lawsuit – the company creating a "public nuisance" by getting everyone hooked on legal heroin – was legal hogwash.
Here are details via The New York Times:
Oklahoma’s highest court on Tuesday threw out a 2019 ruling that required Johnson & Johnson to pay the state $465 million for its role in the opioid epidemic. It was the second time this month that a court has invalidated a key legal strategy used by plaintiffs in thousands of cases attempting to hold the pharmaceutical industry responsible for the crisis.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court, 5-1, rejected the state’s argument that the company violated “public nuisance” laws by aggressively overstating the benefits of its prescription opioid painkillers and downplaying the dangers.
The ruling, along with a similar opinion by a California state judge on Nov. 1, could be a harbinger that plaintiffs’ hopes for favorable resolution in courts nationwide against opioid manufacturers, distributors and retailers will be dashed. The decision could also embolden the companies to dig in.
As we've since learned, Mike Hunter was a flaky adulterous dope, and Judge Balkman is a former conservative Oklahoma lawmaker (which should probably be on the list of disqualifications to be an Oklahoma judge) who parties with Snoop Dog, so we shouldn't be too surprised that they screwed this up. If anything, we should have expected it!
At the time, it seems like Wall Street sure did:
That being said, where's the loyalty from the Oklahoma Supreme Court??? I know they're supposed to give the impression of impartiality, but at last check, they work for the people of Oklahoma, are paid by the people of Oklahoma, and are even retained by the people of Oklahoma. The next time $465-million in evil corporate money is on the line, they should take one for the team and go along with our state's quack legal theories! That's why I call for a new law that gives judges a 10% commission on all future opioid cases. Watch the money roll in!
Okay, I'm just kind of kidding. Although they rudely voted against us in our famed open records request by an 8 – 0 margin, the Oklahoma Supreme Court actually does a decent job protecting Oklahomans from the crazy unconstitutional legislation passed by our legislature, so I guess it's okay for them to side with greedy corporate interests that poison people every now and then.