ATRA Warns Against ‘New Species of Super Tort’ in Oklahoma Opioid Judgment
Amanda Bronstad with Law.com writes about the potential repercussions if the 2019 $465 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson stands.
The judge who awarded a $465 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson allowed a “new species of super tort” in applying Oklahoma’s public nuisance law to the state’s opioid crisis, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a court filing this week.
The unprecedented finding, if upheld, would “devour all of Oklahoma tort law,” according to the Chamber and the American Tort Reform Association in a joint amicus brief filed on Tuesday before the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which is reviewing the Nov. 15 judgment issued by Cleveland County District Court Judge Thad Balkman.
“AG Hunter’s opioid lawsuit and last summer’s judgment dramatically expanded public nuisance law and caused great concern for manufacturers of all products,” said Tiger Joyce, president of the ATRA, which added Oklahoma to its “Judicial Hellholes” report last year because of the opioid verdict. “The fear now is that other industries, including Oklahoma’s own oil and gas producers, may be targeted for a similar public nuisance claim on issues like climate change.”
Want more updates on civil justice reform? Sign up for ATRA’s occasional email updates.
ATRA Reiterates Support for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Use to Address Mass Tort Litigation, Urges Meaningful Dialogue Amid Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing
The lack of oversight and transparency around third-party litigation funding threatens the integrity of our legal system
Together, let’s forge a legal landscape that makes equitable access to justice a living reality for all Georgians.
This is an opportunity to reassess the practices and regulations surrounding private-attorney contracting and to enact reforms that promote fairness, transparency and value for taxpayer dollars.
Allowing the company to continue the bankruptcy process will help ensure equitable and efficient resolution in complex mass tort claims