Father of Football Player Who Died of Opioid Overdose Testifies in Drug Company Trial

Purdue Pharma trial Oklahoma

On the second day of trial of a lawsuit against drug company Johnson & Johnson, the father of a college football player who died of an opioid overdose gave emotional testimony about the personal impact of the opioid crisis, Reuters reports.

The lawsuit was brought by the state of Oklahoma. It accuses the company of fueling the opioid crisis. It is the first trial to result from about 2,000 lawsuits by state and local governments against opioid makers, the article notes.

The father, Craig Box, said he didn’t know his 22-year-old son Austin was misusing painkillers until he was found unconscious at a friend’s house in 2011 and died at a hospital. “We had no idea about the prevalence of these drugs and the dangers of these drugs,” Box said.

Johnson & Johnson denies wrongdoing. The company says it properly marketed opioids and the state cannot prove it caused the epidemic.

Photo credit: Sue Ogrocki/Pool via REUTERS

Heroin & the Opioid Epidemic: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Heroin-related deaths increased by more than five times between 2010 and 2017, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are seeing a sharp rise as well.

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