AP NEWS

Oklahoma judge denies delay requests in opioid lawsuit

March 9, 2019

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma judge has denied a request by 13 pharmaceutical companies to delay the state’s lawsuit accusing them of fraudulently marketing drugs that have fueled the opioid crisis.

The Oklahoman reports that Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman rejected the motion Friday and says “the wheels of justice will continue to turn unimpeded,” with a trial to start May 28.

Attorneys for the drug companies say that they need more time to prepare and that they may appeal to the state Supreme Court. Purdue Pharma spokesman Bob Josephson told the newspaper all options are being considered but no decision has been made.

State Attorney General Mike Hunter praised the ruling and says it “keeps the case on track.”

Several states have filed lawsuits against drugmakers, but Oklahoma’s was the first set to go to trial.