Wednesday, August 28, 2019

J&J is Getting Railroaded By Morons, And Why You Care

If you were paying close attention yesterday, you might have heard that some inbred robed fuckwit (and his mental incapacity and jurisprudential shortcomings with that appellation should be considered an extremely light sentence) yesterday awarded plaintiffs against Johnson & Johnson some $572M in damages (out of the $17Billion they asked for), due to opiate overdose deaths in the state of OK.

This is childish magical thinking and judicial bullshit that should get the judge impeached, disbarred, and stoned at the city gates immediately. Then they should go after his family, the plaintiffs, and plaintiff's shyster lawyers. And then their families.

And OK's state Attorney General and his combined staff of dipshits (who pushed this nonsense) should be lynched, and dragged naked by the heels behind horses over rocks, metal shards, and broken glass for about 200 miles. Then they should turn the horses around, and return those AG @$$holes to the point of origin the same way. After that, and only after that, I'm okay with a full pardon of whatever meatsacks remain.

If you live in OK, walk tall. You've officially surpassed CA and NFY for actual jackassery, by several orders of magnitude, as of right now. Which is saying something. They've really raised the fucktard bar with this one to heights normally only attainable with orbital rocketry.

The next 5000 attempts at this sort of horsesh*t should lead to mass roundups, and conga lines to the gas chambers. For the same group of idiots.

In detail, from Fox Business News on Yahoo:
An Oklahoma judge found Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies liable for stoking the opioid crisis in the state and said the company must pay $572 million, far less the $17 billion that the state was seeking.

Judge Thad Balkman, of Cleveland County District Court in Norman, Oklahoma, is the first judge to rule in the opioid cases brought to trial by thousands of state and local governments against opioid manufacturers and distributors. 
His precedent-setting ruling was being closely watched as 2,000 other pending suits await to be heard before a federal judge in Ohio in October. 
J&J said it plans to appeal Balkman's ruling and that the decision was "flawed."
“Janssen did not cause the opioid crisis in Oklahoma, and neither the facts nor the law support this outcome,” said Michael Ullmann, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Johnson & Johnson. 
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter brought the case to trial for seven weeks, arguing the pharmaceutical company executed an intensive marketing campaign that overwhelmed the market and mislead consumers about the addictive risks of the drug.
Hunter seeks $17 billion to cover all costs related to the state addressing the epidemic for the next 30 years, including treatment and prevention programs. 
Oklahoma lawyers dubbed J&J an opioid “kingpin” and alluded to its marketing tactics as a public health nuisance, under law. However, J&J absolves itself of any misconduct and presented research that said its painkillers, Duragesic and Nucynta, comprised a fraction of opioids prescribed in the state. 
Oklahoma escalated the trial after resolving claims against OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP in March for $270 million and against Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd in May for $85 million, with only J&J remaining as a defendant.
So, in short, OK  went looking for someone wholly uninvolved, with deep pockets.
And found a judge with an IQ on a par with potted plants (but let's be fair, judges come from lawyers, and the morons don't fall far from the tree there), who looked at the contrary facts and legal doctrine, and decided none of that mattered, then spun his Magic 8-Ball and concluded half a billion dollars of shakedown cash sounded like a good round number.

So first, a little background.

1) Opiate deaths are overwhelmingly caused by heroin and carfentanil (street-cooked synthetic fentanyl, i.e. acetyl fentanyl), - typically the two in combination courtesy of street level pharmaceutical distributors - not by prescription opiates of any kind. I'd spitball it's at a ratio of about 99 to 1, but I may be low-balling the actual numbers for the true percentage of overdoses by street opiates (i.e. it may be 999 to 1 or 9999 to 1).

2) The LD50 of RX-grade fentanyl being unknown, using the Janssen-made Durgesic patches above would require you to slap eighty of them on full-strength, just to get to the highest dosage of Rx tablet. And even then, that still wouldn't kill you.

(We report anecdotally the dumbass we saw in the ER once for possible stroke, upon whom while changing into a gown we found twenty or so of his daily pain patches, each of which are supposed to be removed before putting the new one on the next day. He was wobbly, and seemed impaired/intoxicated, but was alert and with stable vital signs, and once we removed his old patches, his symptoms disappeared in about 15 minutes, and he was released home with no further intervention than a headslap and a serious Dumbass Education Lecture.) In short, Rx fentanyl is responsible for probably roughly zero overdose deaths ever, inclusive, since it was invented. Unless you tried to eat the box, whole, and choked. You'd have to be drinking the stuff in gallon jugs. It's potent but short-acting, and we routinely deliver IV doses 20x the strength of Duragesic patches for simple broken bones, and it wears off in less than an hour, providing nothing but relief of moderate to severe pain with minimal side effects. That's WHY it's used.

3) I don't care if J&J blanketed the airwaves and beamed their ads into your head from space, and gave away multiple truckloads of free samples to every MD in the Okie State, and sold every RX pill they ever got: They are marketing a legal product for legal usage, and the actions of others are not their fault, in reality, or morally, ethically, nor legally, since ever.

Blaming the makers of a legal product, in an excruciatingly highly-regulated trade, for the misdeeds of others using completely different items, whose only similarity is a chemical class, is simply utter horseshit. Such jurisprudence is the hallmark of mental retardation and absolute professional incapacity.

Why you give a fuck:

This case is the equivalent of a judge finding Oneida culpable for forks causing obesity.
It's finding Ticonderoga pencils responsible for causing mistakes on SATs.
And if I haven't made the point blisteringly clear yet,
It's finding Colt, Winchester, Remington, and Ruger guilty for murders and robberies.

It throws all moral agency and legal culpability since Hammurabi on its head, and undoes civilization itself with a penstroke. And Judge Fucktard thought (and I use that term loosely) that was okay.

His law school should revoke his degree tomorrow, and failing that, treating it like Carthage after the Third Punic War should be a baseline recompense for them, too.

If this sort of illegal horseshit is allowed to stand, it's the end of everything since fire and the wheel. I am not exaggerating.

It will start with J&J ceasing all opiate sales to Oklahoma, in perpetuity.
(Hint: they should institute that policy tomorrow. Then refer the howling from hundreds of thousands of agonized senior citizens to Judge Fucktard, and post his home phone number and that of the OK AG on the J&J website for complaints.)
Then every other drug company should follow suit, and will.

It will end with nobody producing anything anywhere, because someone might misuse it, and then sue the guy who made a legal product, just because they have money.

The only difference between this verdict and armed robbery, is that the jackass Judge Fucktard wasn't (as far as we know) wearing a ski mask and doing it with a pistol when he issued his retarded ruling. Otherwise, the difference between this and actual armed robbery is only that.

Judge Fucktard should literally be stripped of office, prosecuted for criminal fuckwittery of a civilizational level, and then taken out back of the courthouse and shot.

And the mentally retarded AG of OKiehoma and all his little fuckwit minions in that office, down to secretarial and janitorial staff, should be next to him, sharing the same fate.
Pour encourger les autres, dulce et decorum est.
Idiot AG Hunter has just highlighted that he needs to be kicked right the fuck out of office, and that the AG is an office the people of OK can do without, until further notice.

And failing this case getting reversed at some level, if and when jurisprudential sanity kicks in, I hope that's exactly what happens to them all.

When you out-Okie entire generations of all Sooner stupidity in one fell swoop, it should leave a mark, and serve as a cautionary tale told around campfire for centuries. If it unleashes pitchfork- and torch-wielding mobs hunting down lawyers for sport from coast to coast, it probably would not go too far, and would be instead a very good start.


Anonymous said...

What, no suggested punishment for Purdue and Teva for settling?

Opie Odd

Aesop said...

The SEC should criminally prosecute their entire boards of directors for malfeasance and conspiracy to defraud shareholders, and place those companies into receivership. Five years hard time per offender, a $10M personal fine, and 20,000 hours of supervised community service per offender should do the trick. I'd make them serve it in Skid Row narcotics treatment programs, 12 hours a day, six days a week, without excuse, or return to prison for the balance of the time owed.

The only allowable defense would be that they were, in fact, criminal racketeers and illegal narcotics dealers, in which case such defense would constitute an immediate guilty plea to those charges, requiring seizure of all personal assets, seizure of those companies under RICO, and 25 years hard time in SuperMax per board member in recognition of their true culpability.

Reltney McFee said...

Whooo-boy! Wanna bet how many companies are willing to risk near billion dollar costs, simply to sell pain meds?

I am with you: I anticipate that pharmaceutical manufacturers all over will prepare policy statements along the lines of "Gosh, we sure don't want to facilitate any opioid epidemic (side thought: how does one contract an "opioid" from somebody else?) anywhere, in any manner. Henceforth, we are immediately stopping any domestic sales in any form of any sort of controlled substance. We are dismantling the factories, and shipping to The MIddle Kingdom. Have a nice day!"

Another side note: when you make COMMUNIST FREAKING CHINA look like a shining tower of jurisprudential sober deliberation, you really, really have accomplished something!

Eagle said...

Product liability cases have been rife since the beginning of time, when Og got angry at Fum for making a defective spear (the flint tip fell off and the sabretooth tiger killed his wife Michelle).

The latest spate of bullsh1t lawsuits follows the precedent of Liebeck vs. McDonalds Restaurants, where a 73 year old woman - who had probably been making her own coffee most of her life - forgot that you need hot water to brew coffee and spilled it on her lap when trying to add creamer and sugar while sitting in a car. A picture of this incident should appear next to the definition of "frivolous lawsuit".

It is impossible to protect everyone against everything. Bic disposable lighters have a sticker that says "do not light in pocket". Who in their right mind would try to do that? Signs at a gas station say "do not drink gasoline". WTF?

Can a teacher get sued if a high school junior uses a SAT pencil to cause a "poke in the eye with a sharp stick"? Can we sue the testing company for that too??

Examples are boundless... and the reason for my lack of faith that humanity will survive the coming ice age without at least a few working Bic lighters to start a fire. But, never mind. We won't have hatchets or axes to chop down trees for wood: they'll have been declared "too dangerous" and banned...

Anonymous said...

"and conga lines to the gas chambers"

You owe me another keyboard.

OutbackMike said...

Reminds me of that abysmal decision about RoundUp causing cancer. It astounds me how stupid people are.

I guess I have to remember that half the population has a below average IQ.

Anonymous said...

The end game of all this liability vs pharma will be the end of pharma in the US. You can get all your high quality and very safe drugs from China after that. If you think that is OK go take a look at the valsartan recall. Oh, and don't count on the FDA to do their job and be sure that imported stuff is just as good as home made. If Ayn Rand were to write Atlas Shrugged today Hank Reardon would be a pharma big wig. You'd think the 'smart kids' would realize the end of what they espouse but no, you have Dick Blumenthal bad mouthing pharma while the state Economic Development Committee is trying to get pharma to stay in CT let alone move to CT.
I strongly suggest you start boning up on herbal and natural medicine knowledge because if things keep going they way they are there will be no (safe and effective) Rx's in the US with or without a SHTF scenario.

Beans said...

What? Nothing about Red-Fucking Communist China shipping concentrated fentanyl by the container-load, well, hidden in container loads (like the 300lbs of R-FC China fentanyl that is estimated to be enough to kill everyone in the world) and how cheap R-FC China drugs are fueling the illegal drug crisis?

Why didn't OK sue R-FC China for compensation? Or that asshat commie in charge of the narco-state of Mexico? Or the heads of all the cartels in the narco-state of Mexico?

Fuck this shit. I already know someone who had to change pain-management drugs several times since the implementation of Obama(Imagonafuckayoua)Care.

The stupid, it should burn. Burn long and hard for what they have done to my people.

Maybe if junkies weren't revived after their 4th or 5th overdose (if we are being nice) or after the 1st one (1st one's free, then it will cost you your LIFE) for illegal drug users and save the Narcan for people who are legally using meds and life intrudes (like, well, for example, I know one person on high-levels of pain management drugs who got some bug that temporarily affected the ability to process the drugs out of the system, so that person went into an overdose, on legal drugs, following the directions and that person needed Narcan.) Legal drug user having issues, fine. Illegal drug user having issues, fuck you, crawl off the road and die, thank you.

And Aesop? Thanks for writing. You distill bullshit quicker than a bootlegger's still distills good sourmash.

Anonymous said...

Gotta endorse Beans assessment above. His analogy brought a smile. The Narcan policy stated also sounds bout right; one and done.
You are spot-on about the substance usually abused and yes, plenty of it comes from China via the USPS. So glad to be out of the war-on-some-drugs business.
Boat Guy

A.B. Prosper said...

I wouldn't worry about J&J, the medical companies can simply refuse to sell in the US if they like.

This kind of leverage is why the vaccine injury compensation trust fund exists, the companies that make them basically said "we get protection or you do without."

I wouldn't count in Chinese medicines filling in. Best to assume anyone in China means to defraud you at some point unless they have along term relationship with you. China has a different moral system than we do and strangers and non family are rightful prey as in most of the world

As far as the border issue, to stop fentanyl from getting in, most trade basically has to stop and everything brought in has to be inspected. We close the doors to China and Mexico, the profit margin is so great, traffickers will go elsewhere.

Make it here, buy it here, sell it here.

Letting people die won't help much as no one is going to want that as policy

Our neo puritanical desire to punish has lead to the police state we have now anyway

we have more people in our justice system than any developed nation and maybe anywhere but China and our cities are still turning into Calcutta

Our society is simply dying from divorce, diversity and social destruction and the fixes, stable families, stable work and homogeneity require a revolution to happen since both parties oppose them

No libertarian or liberty minded solution are useful.

President Trump is not awesome on the issues either but heads and tales above everyone else and half a loaf is better than a lead sandwich

Offtopic, ammo is cheap right now for some reason. My local Walmart in California no less had Winchester White Box 9mm at $85 for 500 rounds which is on par with Russian ammo.

Aesop said...

J&J isn't the issue here, A.B.

The issue is fiat anarchy under color of authority.

Setting the precedent that uninvolved innocent parties can be rounded up, sued, and financially ruined for the unrelated actions of evil people using not-their-product, as if apples were elephants and horseflies were horses, because the defendants happen to be minding their own business legally and above board, undoes all trade and commerce in anything, in about a minute.

That's a civilizational death sentence.

It's Kafka-esque and surreal, and the only answer is rivers of blood and heads on poles. If that starts tomorrow, just for this reason, I'm all in.
It's that bad.

This is the kind of thing that justifies slaughtering the entire judiciary and executive organs that uphold or enforces it, as quintessential casus belli. It stands the law and common sense itself on its own head, and endangers society itself, intrinsically and explicitly. This is one of those things that authorizes marching people to Madame Guillotine in wholesale batches.

What happens to J&J is something to which I'm relatively indifferent. In the end, they'll make out okay.

This judge and OK's AG, OTOH, need a fine public lynching about five minutes ago, as outlined in the OP.
This is the Dred Scott case of the 21st century, and if upheld, it's sufficient grounds for another civil war/revolution, with all the trimmings.

A sitting judge has ruled that the innocent must be fleeced because evil exists, somewhere else. J&J is merely standing in the dock in your stead. If they can be judicially ass-raped without a shred of legal rationale merely on some lunatic judge's say-so, nothing and no one is safe.

That's sufficient grounds for lopping off heads and burning down legislatures, just for openers. And if the dullards amongst TPTB don't see that, and nip it in the bud, good and hard, that's exactly what's going to follow, and it will be wholly justified.

What comes after that is the real problem.

J J said...

John Lott weighs in:
Here's What Needs to Happen After the Johnson & Johnson Lawsuit

“If you think that this is an idea that you have heard about before, you probably have. About 20 years ago this “public nuisance” theory was tried in lawsuits by cities against gun makers. The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act stopped many cities from simultaneously bringing these suits and bankrupting the gun makers. The law doesn’t protect the gun makers from making faulty products or from lying to customers or if they break the law.”

Anonymous said...

Not that I'm a fan of Big Pharma,(Definitely Not), but this is ridiculous.

why said...

Just curious when all of the hospital C-suites are going to be sued.....for pushing prescribers to improve Press-Ganey scores by, you got it, prescribing narcotics to ANYONE in pain.

Between JCAHO's push in the 90s of "pain is the 5th vital sign"(umm, no its not, 1 is subjective, the other 4 are objective), Press-Ganey scores being used to determine pay for prescribers (think of the dumbest brick of protoplasm, high on cocaine and alcohol, demanding "hydrocortisone", and he's the one determining how you're paid), and C-suites trying to use a prescriber's license to maximize profits - hey, what the heck else did you think was going to happen??

Beans said...

In reference to ABP's "we have more people in our justice system than any developed nation and maybe anywhere but China and our cities are still turning into Calcutta..."

Flag on play. Totally Flag On the Frucking Play.

Don't look at other countrie's crime statistics as if they use the same metric as we do in the USA. We don't financially and legally destroy people for questioning our government in a lighthearted post, like Germany does. Germany doesn't include all the people who are basically on NAZI Facebook German Edition political time-out in their reporting of crime stats. Then there are all the reported but unreported incidents involving migrants...

Sweden doesn't have a lot of people in their supposed criminal justice system because they decriminalized just about everything, much like Califrutopiastan has. If you look up the amount that Sweden collects in civil fines for assaults 'determined not to be criminal in nature' and car theft, utility theft, shoplifting, sexual assault not including great bodily harm, and other such pleasant social contacts.

France? The same.

England? The same.

Spain? Hahahahahahahahaha...

Poland? Poland reports all their crimes as crimes. Then again, they don't have the migrant problem.

What you are seeing is the same thing with infant death rates. We in the USA include any infant 'born' even if it dies right there, including premies and non-viable births. Other countries? It's not an infant in some places until 2yoa. Or it's alive for a certain period of time. But it's the US of A that has an issue with child death? Yah.. No. Not so much after all.

Check your facts carefully by comparing the social background of what crimes are per country. Just like the people who say the USA has an issue with mass shootings. Sure, we do, but we're not as bad as most other countries for mass attacks. We've never had someone use poison gas in a subway (Japan, England) or tossing acid like its Holy Water during a High Mass, or actual grenade attacks (very common i Sweden right now...) or, or, or...

Felix Bellator said...

Not to mention how the Government interference in pain management treatments have driven law abiding citizens to seek the means to relieve their pain through illegal drugs. Doctors who once could prescribe enough medication to relieve patients chronic pain are now limited by Government fiat the amount of medication they can administer. So much for it being "better you and your doctor."

I met a young man who had brought his 89 year old grandmother in for her pain medication prescription. Every two weeks a member of her family had to take most of a day off of work, get the wheelchair bound woman out of her house, carry her to the clinic, wait for two hours to get a piece of paper, and then go through the rest of the process to get the lady settled back at home. A ridiculous waste of time, energy, and money, all because some losers are offing themselves with illegal drugs.

Anonymous said...

As one who depends on long-acting morphine to keep chronic pain beat back to function, this scares the shit out of me.

FaCubeItches said...

As The Pogues once sang: "This is the modern world."

Having been on the defense/appellant's side of similar litigation, I just laugh at it all now. The company I represented made a plastic that was inert and in no way harmful to anyone. However, if it was melted in a big mold, some steam - not smoke, steam (as in vaporized water) - could be released as part of the cleaning process. We had over 20 different scientific studies stating that our client's product was harmless - other than maybe a choking hazard if you tried to swallow a block of it). The plaintiff had 1 report that acknowledged that all testing showed our guy's product was harmless, but said that it still remained theoretically possible that it *could* be harmful because no one had come up with the proper test to show it, and the studies only covered a couple of decades, not long enough to absolutely, positively, unequivocally state that it might not have long term effects.

Judge denied a summary judgment motion, a jury of 12 Boobus Americanii said "Well, maybe....", and the Court of Appeal said "Sorry, this is a dumb case, and we sympathize with you, but the Legislature wrote a really idiotic law - that they should probably consider changing - and we have to follow it." So, time to break out the checkbook.

The only break our client got was that the jury's damage allocation for its product was pretty low.

If the public knew how badly "consumer protection" laws end up fucking the public at the cash register, they'd be lynching politicians left and right. But as Ray Zalinsky, the Auto Parts King, noted in "Tommy Boy": "What the American public doesn't know is what makes them the American public."

Anonymous said...

"When you think about the stupidity of the average person - remember, half are stupider than that." George Carlin.
For whatever faults he may have had, Carlin may be remembered as a prophet by future generations. If we have any, that is.
- Grandpa