Judge Balkman makes $107-million “math” error in opioid case…

Remember when Oklahoma kinda-sorta-maybe-but-not-really won their lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson back in August? I argued that the penalty the state arrived at was a slap on the wrist compared to the damage that the drug corporation had done. If you read through the comments, however, some people made it seem like I was ungrateful and the $572 million to be awarded to Oklahoma was enough money to magically make up for everything.

It turns out that I was right about the state screwing up the judgement, but for the wrong reason.

Judge Thad Balkman – the guy that may have smoked too much chronic with Snoop at his high school reunion– made a $100-million math “error” when determining damages in the case

From Tulsa World:

NORMAN — A judge admitted Tuesday to making a $107 million math error in his verdict in the state’s opioid case.

“That will be the last time I use that calculator,” Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman said.

Uhm, I thought the whole reason people used calculators was to avoid math errors. Please explain how this happened?

Following a hearing Tuesday in Cleveland County, Oklahoma, District Judge Thad Balkman said he made a mistake in his August judgment ordering the company to pay the state $572 million to address the opioid crisis. That sum included $107 million for treating babies born addicted to opioids, when in fact Balkman said the figure should be $107,000

Wait a second. That’s not a math error. That’s just a stupid grade school fuck up in what happened to be the biggest court case in Oklahoma history! I know the standard for excellence in the Oklahoma judicial system is pretty low, but how do you accidentally tack $100-million to something and not notice?

Seriously, everything about this case is turning into an absolute embarrassment. Yeah, it’s cool that we won and this helps set a national precedent towards other similar lawsuits pending across the nation. But if the precedent is that a company worth hundreds of billions of dollars can get a little slap on the wrist for pushing addictive dope onto millions of people, we’ll never see any true justice.

As a reminder, Johnson & Johnson’s stock rose dramatically after the ruling, meaning Wall Street knew that if states like Oklahoma would kowtow, the risk of investing is worth it: