The state has accused Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals of creating a public nuisance that cost the state billions of dollars and destroyed thousands of lives. Johnson & Johnson denied any wrongdoing and said it had been made a "scapegoat".
Cleveland District Judge Thad Balkman will make his decision at 15:00. (4:00 pm ET) in his courtroom in the university town of Norman.
"This would be the largest bank trial verdict in US history and would have far-reaching implications," he told Carl Tobias, a professor of law at the University of Richmond.
If the judge sided with Johnson & Johnson, it would set a precedent for the pharmaceutical industry to defend itself nationwide, observers said.
The case will depend on whether Balkman buys the public harassment theory of the state – that Johnson & Johnson has caused a public health crisis in the state." Since opioids have a legitimate medical purpose, it would be interesting to see if the public harassment theory persisted
"If the judge rejects this theory," said Tobias, "in other cases, the plaintiffs rely more on traditional theories of tort law and negligence."
From Everyday to Fireworks
"I've never seen a company try the truth more than this would ever hide, "said Brad Beckworth lawyer, who represents the state he was subjected to repeated objections.
Johnson & Johnson Attorney Sabrina Strong replied, "It's not about concealing the truth."
At another point, Terri White, the state mental health commissioner, cried in tears and got angry When a lawyer from Johnson & Johnson asked if the state was responsible for the opioid epidemic. Johnson & Johnson, White said, urged Opioide to Oklahoma, "without telling us that you would do so without assuming responsibility today."
"We are the only reason the only reason that lives are saved in the state," she said.
Cal Hobson, once one of the most powerful lawmakers in Oklahoma, persecuted every hour of the trial either in person or online. He called this moment – seeing white in tears – "one of the most insightful moments" of the whole process. In his view, according to Hobson, the case of Johnson & Johnson went downhill from there.
"It was just devastating," said Hobson, who spent 28 years at the Oklahoma House and Senate.
Johnson & Johnson Names the Case Tainted