J&J lawyer says Oklahoma opioid judgment has no binding impact in B.C. homes

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A sign is posted at the Johnson & Johnson campus on Aug. 26, 2019 in Irvine, Calif ..

Mario Tama / Getty Images

A lawyer for Johnson and Johnson says a civil judgment from an Oklahoma court that ruled the companies

British Columbia Attorney General David Eby has said while doing legal action in the provinces of the country.

Eby and other legal experts have said the court ruling is a positive sign for litigation in Canada.

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Sabrina Strong, outside counsel for Johnson & Johnson and its pharmaceutical subsidiary Janssen, says the court's decision-making, 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

Ontario and New Brunswick announced that 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 have been tested in court.

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin and another defendant in B.C.’s lawsuit, has said that it has been followed up by Health Canada's regulations, including those governing marketing, and it 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. Attorneys for the company have maintained that they were part of a strict federal oversight.

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