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

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man arrested in fatal stabbing near Clayton Heights gas station

Victim pronounced deceased at the scene; RCMP cordon off area

Paul Bennett honoured at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation awards

Cloverdale man, murdered in June 2018, was one of a number of people to be honoured

Windfall for Deltassist from Delta brewery’s fun run

Four Winds Brewing Company’s third annual Winded 5K raised a record $11,809.53

Reach Society granted $20K to help lessen counselling waits

The funds were granted from the First West Foundation’s Envision Financial Community Endowment

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Vancouver Giants wrap up prairie road swing with a 4-2 win over Regina

Milos Roman paced the Langley-based Giants with two goals, goaltender David Tendeck made 34 saves

Most Read