Why Are Lawyers Doing the Work of Lawmakers?


Last month, two courts handed down opposite rulings in important opioid cases.

In the first case, the Oklahoma Supreme Court threw out a lower court’s ruling that Johnson & Johnson should pay the state $465 million for its role in the crisis. (Its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary had manufactured opioids.) Oklahoma’s case was built on a relatively new legal theory: that opioid addiction constituted a “public nuisance” and damages, therefore, were due.