The bench trial pits the state of Oklahoma against Johnson & Johnson. The outcome in Oklahoma could impact claims and settlement talks involving other states, cities and counties. Numerous lawsuits are consolidated in an enormous federal case in OH that is scheduled to begin in October.
It added, "Teva has not contributed to the abuse of opioids in Oklahoma in any way".
"Our actions in the marketing and promotion of these important prescription pain medications were appropriate and responsible", Janssen said in a written statement ahead of the trail.
Balkman will decide whether the company should pay and how much.
Two earlier defendants in the case - pharmaceutical manufacturers Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceuticals - settled separately with the state for $270 million and $85 million, respectively. "Teva continues to keep the long-term stability of the company at the forefront".
The company's lead attorney pointed to federal and state agencies having approved and monitored its painkillers Nucynta and Duragesic, and the decades-long familiarity of doctors with opioid medications and their addictive qualities.
The drugmaker says it legally promoted and sold the painkillers and shouldn't be held responsible for the misdeeds of other companies.
The trial could bring to light documents and testimony that show what the companies knew, when they knew it and how they responded.
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"We're not mocking anyone, but facts are stubborn things", he said.
State Attorney General Mike Hunter told Balkman that 4,653 Oklahomans died of overdoses between 2007 and 2017, in what he termed "the worst man-made public health crisis in the history of our country and this state".
As part of its defence, J&J is expected to attack the state's attempt to apply public-nuisance law to the problems of opioid abuse.
He said legal scholars were paying close attention to it because of the precedent the case could set, including affecting a federal trial later this year that has folded together more than 1,500 cases.
A federal judge in Cleveland who is overseeing municipal suits against J&J and other drugmakers and distributions will allow plaintiff attorneys to use public-nuisance law in the first cases set for trial there in October.
But J&J also said it was open to an "an appropriate resolution" that would avoid the expense and uncertainty of a trial. The company has since sold off or stopped marketing both products.
Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, have vehemently denied the allegations and said the public nuisance allegation is being misused.
Several states have reached settlements with drugmakers.