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Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.’s move to pay $85 million to resolve an Oklahoma lawsuit alleging it and other drugmakers illegally marketed opioid painkillers, fueling a public health crisis, leaves Johnson & Johnson in the uncomfortable position of being the state’s sole target in the first opioid lawsuit set to start on May 28.

Bloombert reports that the settlement with Oklahoma’s attorney general, announced Sunday, came nearly on the eve of trial and followed a $270 million deal by Purdue Pharma LP in March to resolve identical claims over the marketing of its opioid-based OxyContin painkiller. The state alleged the three companies duped doctors into prescribing the powerful medications for unapproved ailments, causing fatal overdoses and drug-addiction woes.

Oklahoma is seeking at least $10 billion in damages and penalties for current and future outlays tied to the opioid epidemic. The trial is slated to be the first test of public-nuisance laws against opioid manufacturers and distributors. At least 42 states and more than 1,900 municipalities also have sued companies in the industry, demanding billions of dollars in damages.

J&J — known for being loath to settle mass-tort litigation at the early stages — so far hasn’t cut an out-of-court deal to end the case, set to start May 28. Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter has tagged the company as the “kingpin” of the opioid crisis because it once sold its own version of opioid painkillers as well as the active ingredient.

Andrew Wheatley, a spokesman for J&J and its Janssen unit, said Sunday the drugmaker was ready to defend itself at trial from Oklahoma’s claims that its painkillers caused a public nuisance in the state. Hunter contends J&J’s illegal marketing created a nuisance that forced the state to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to address the societal fall-out of opioid-related overdoses and addictions.

“We disagree with the state’s overly expansive theories of public nuisance law, which should not apply in this situation,” Wheatley said in an emailed statement. “At the same time, as with all litigation, if an appropriate resolution is possible that avoids the expense and uncertainty of a trial, we are always open to that option.”

There may be other settlements later this year as the focus on opioid litigation shifts to Cleveland, where a federal judge has set two test trials for October to allow juries to consider public-nuisance claims over drug-marketing campaigns, said Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor who teaches as product-liability cases.

U.S. District Judge Dan Polster is overseeing more than 1,900 suits filed by U.S. cities and counties seeking recoup tax dollars spent fighting the opioid epidemic. Polster unsuccessfully sought to push the companies and local governments into settling and then set the test trials to get the case moving.