Syringes, pills and prescription bottles In more than 1,600 opioid lawsuits filed by U.S. cities and counties, most claims are being made under racketeering and conspiracy statutes as well as nuisance laws. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Determining who foots the bill for America’s growing opioid epidemic may depend on how well the state of Oklahoma deploys a high-risk legal strategy this week against Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

At least 42 states and more than 1,600 municipalities are suing makers of the addictive painkillers, demanding billions of dollars in damages and claiming illegal drug marketing created a costly public-health crisis. Oklahoma is the first to go to trial with a case relying on nuisance laws normally invoked for minor property disputes involving things such as loud noises or bright lights.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?



Join BenefitsPRO

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to navigate the shifting employee benefits industry. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and
  • Exclusive discounts on and ALM events.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join BenefitsPRO

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.