OxyContin pills at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot, File)

Lawyer for opioid maker says U.S. lawsuit won’t affect B.C. suit

Johnson & Johnson lawyer says Oklahoma ruling has no binding impact

A lawyer for Johnson & Johnson says a civil judgment from an Oklahoma court that ruled the companies helped fuel the state’s opioid crisis has no binding impact on other courts.

B.C. Attorney General David Eby has said while the legal action in the province is against dozens of manufacturers and others, the cases are based on similar facts. He and other legal experts have said the court ruling is a positive sign for litigation in Canada.

Sabrina Strong, outside counsel for Johnson & Johnson and its pharmaceutical subsidiary Janssen, says the court’s decision will not impact how the company approaches legal actions elsewhere, given the different jurisdictions, laws, defendants and claims in those cases.

The B.C. government filed a proposed class-action lawsuit a year ago alleging drug manufactures falsely marketed opioids as less addictive than other pain drugs, helping to trigger an overdose crisis that has killed thousands since OxyContin was introduced to the Canadian market in 1996.

Ontario and New Brunswick have announced they will participate in B.C.’s lawsuit, and Eby says Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Quebec are participating in a national working group on the case.

None of the allegations in the lawsuit has been tested in court.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and another defendant in B.C.’s lawsuit, has said that it followed all of Health Canada’s regulations, including those governing marketing, and it’s very concerned about the opioid crisis in B.C. and across Canada.

Johnson & Johnson is appealing the Oklahoma court decision, which ordered the company to pay US$572 million, and says it is confident it has strong ground for its appeal. Attorneys for the company have maintained that they were part of a lawful and heavily regulated industry subject to strict federal oversight.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police’s role in Barnston Island still needs ‘to be looked at’

Surrey RCMP polices unincorporated island a short ferry ride across Parson’s Channel

Surrey looking into reducing residential speed limits

Surrey city council on Feb. 24 approved five ‘key pillars’ of a Surrey Transportation Plan

Lord Tweedsmuir cheers its way to top ten finish

Cloverdale school placed ninth at cheerleading competition in Florida

‘We have to triage’: Surrey teachers stage ‘walk-in’ to support public education

Teachers raising awareness after more than one year at the bargaining table

Surrey teacher wins provincial award for his work teaching art to students

Clayton Heights teacher Dennis Memmott recognized with award granted by his fellow art teachers

Toddler killed in Squamish grocery store parking lot

Child’s mother taken to hospital but her condition is not known

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

B.C. mother, daughter return home after coronavirus quarantine in Asia

Jensine Morabito and her daughter were on Holland America’s Westerdam but did not catch the virus

Leap Year means we get an extra day in February, so how are you spending it?

People online have a number of suggestions and plans on how they will be spending Saturday

Greta sticker that drew outrage in Alberta not child pornography: RCMP

X-Site Energy Services has denied having anything to do with the stickers

Bald eagle hit by train in northern B.C. has a chance of survival

The raptor has been taken to OWL in the Lower Mainland for recovery

Dragon boating changes lives for Spirit Abreast paddlers

The Cultus Lake based team is looking to fill a boat with breast cancer survivors and supporters.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation and Rio Tinto sign a historic agreement

Co-operation crucial to stem dropping Nechako Reservoir level

Most Read