© 2023
Virginia's Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Opioid Ruling in Oklahoma an Encouraging Sign for Virginia

A judge in Oklahoma ruled Monday the company Johnson & Johnson is partially responsible for the opioid epidemic in that state. The drug-maker has been ordered to pay almost half a billion dollars. 

Virginia wasn’t a party in that case, but the ruling could still have implications for the Commonwealth . 


Virginia has a lawsuit of its own against Purdue Pharma, another manufacturer of prescription opioids.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring accuses Purdue of lying about the risks of addiction, and of pushing millions of opioid pills on to unsuspecting Virginians. 

“I am encouraged by the outcome of the Johnson & Johnson lawsuit with Oklahoma because what we’re seeing is that courts are realizing the role that these pharmaceutical companies played in creating and prolonging opioid epidemic and they need to be held accountable," Herring said in an interview Tuesday.

Virginia’s case was filed last year in Tazewell County, in western Virginia. It’s still in the discovery phase, so could be some time before it reaches trial. 

Virginia is also part of a multi-state team still investigating other companies, including a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. That means additional lawsuits could still come.


This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Mallory Noe-Payne is a Radio IQ reporter based in Richmond.