Oklahoma opioid trial to be decided by judge, not jury

By  | 

OKLAHOMA CITY (KXII) - An Oklahoma judge has ruled the state's public nuisance claims against drug manufacturers will be tried before him and not a jury.

A statement released by the attorney general's office says Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman decided Thursday that a jury will not hear the case. Only Johnson & Johnson had argued for a jury trial.

Balkman also denied a request by Teva to remove subsidiaries and affiliates from the lawsuit. According to the attorney general's statement, Balkman said the state presented enough evidence to keep all of the remaining defendants in the case. Oklahoma settled with Purdue Pharma for $270 million in March.

"We are pleased with today’s developments as we continue to look forward to our trial date where we will show how these companies deceived doctors and Oklahomans, leading to the current epidemic,” said Attorney General Mike Hunter.

The trial is scheduled to begin May 28 at the Cleveland County Courthouse.