J&J Ordered to Pay $572 Million in Opioid Case

A judge in Oklahoma has ordered New Brunswick-based Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million for its role in causing the opioid addiction crisis. The judge said the company intentionally oversold the benefits and minimized the dangers of prescription opioids.

The judge said the company “caused an opioid crisis that’s evidenced by increased rates of addiction, overdose deaths and neonatal abstinence syndrome.”

Johnson & Johnson has said it intends to appeal the ruling.

The company contracted with poppy growers in Tasmania and supplied 60 percent of the opiate ingredients of drugs like Oxycodone, and J&J’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals made an opioid drug of its own and sells a fentanyl patch.

J&J stocks rallied 2 percent after the ruling, which was far less than the $17 billion that the state of Oklahoma had sought in the lawsuit. The judge said the amount only covers one year’s worth of the expenses that Oklahoma pays every year to combat opioid addiction.

Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaeuticals were also sued by Oklahoma for their respective roles in marketing opioids and reached settlements. According to the New York Times, there are about 2,000 similar lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies throughout the country.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), 1 Johnson & Johnson Plaza, New Brunswick 08903. 732-524-0400. Alex Gorsky, chairman & CEO. www.jnj.com.

1 Independence Way Sold

Newmark Knight Frank, a real estate firm, has sold 1 Independence Way in Princeton on behalf of Normandy Real Estate Partners to Guardian Realty Management, a Brooklyn-based company, for $19.5 million.

Representing Normandy Real Estate Partners were Kevin Welsh, Brian Schulz, and Chuck Kohaut of NKF’s Capital Markets team, with support from leasing broker Steve Tolkach, who specializes in the Princeton market. The NKF team was also responsible for securing the buyer, Guardian Realty, who assumed the existing mortgage.

1 Independence Way is a 113,998-square-foot office building that is leased to S&P Global, a financial information company; and Trimble MAPS (formerly ALK Technologies), a provider of navigation software.

“Normandy Real Estate Partners was able to create substantial value by repositioning 1 Independence, driven by major capital enhancements and the execution of two long-term investment-grade leases,” said Welsh, executive managing director at NKF. “Guardian Realty is well positioned to benefit from a durable cash flow stream and continued value appreciation, with in-place rents that are 15 percent below market in Princeton’s transforming ‘live/work/play’ environment.”

Deaths

Judith A. Mailloux, 76, on August 6. She worked as a registered nurse at St. Francis Medical Center and was one of the first members of Lifemobile. She also worked for several pharmaceutical companies.

Samuel A. Notarianni, 73, on August 21. He was the former owner of J&S Sports of Hamilton.

Gregory Mark Chiaramonti, 47, on August 16. He was a computer software instructor with the Office of the Attorney General’s IT Department since 2005. Previously he was a graphic designer for Bloomberg in Princeton, where he art-directed and designed award-winning advertisements, illustrations, and presentations to promote Bloomberg’s financial data systems, television, and other products.

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