Oklahoma medical examiner testifies in state opioid lawsuit

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma’s medical examiner has provided tragic details of opioid-related deaths during testimony in the state’s lawsuit that alleges drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson contributed to the opioid epidemic.

Among the cases outlined Tuesday by Dr. Eric Pfeifer was that of a 28-year-old mother with a history of back pain who had just been placed on fentanyl patches and was found dead on her daughter’s birthday.

Pfeifer also read investigative narratives involving the death of a 53-year-old woman found dead sitting up at her dining room table and of a 55-year-old woman found by her husband in a bathtub overflowing with water.

The lawsuit alleges drugmakers marketed highly addictive opioids in a way that overstated their effectiveness and underplayed the risk of addiction. Johnson & Johnson has denied wrongdoing.

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