An Oklahoma judge has reduced the financial penalty Johnson & Johnson must pay for its role in the opioid crisis from $572 million to $465 million, according to a court order filed Friday.
District Judge Thad Balkman had previously ordered that the health care products and pharmaceutical giant pay $572 million, but later said he made a mathematical error when calculating the judgment.
As part of the landmark verdict in August, Balkman set aside $107,683,000 to help combat neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, but actually meant to award $107,683.
The judge rejected a request by the defendants to reduce the award money by deducting the amounts of previous settlements with the state.
“Under Oklahoma law, defendants are not entitled to a settlement credit to account for the settlements entered between the state and the former defendants who settled and were dismissed, because there has been no finding of fault entered against any other potential tortfeasor, nor was any such finding requested by defendants before or during trial,” the court order reads.
Balkman wrote in his order that although “several of the state’s witnesses testified that the plan will take at least 20 years to work, the state did not present sufficient evidence of the amount of time and costs necessary, beyond year one, to abate the opioid crisis,” rejecting the idea that the court should continue to review every year whether additional damages should be awarded.
Johnson & Johnson has previously indicated it will appeal the decision.