The courtroom fills up before the start of the Oklahoma v. Purdue Pharma opioid trial at the Cleveland County Courthouse in Norman, Okla. on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. The proceeding are the first public trial to emerge from roughly 2,000 U.S. lawsuits aimed at holding drug companies accountable for the nation’s opioid crisis. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]

NORMAN — Walking down Norman’s Main Street just a block away from the Cleveland County Courthouse on Thursday, Keith Froslie had a message for Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and lawyers fighting drug manufacturers during the state’s ongoing opioid trial.

“Throw the book at them,” he said. “People are losing loved ones.”

The state of Oklahoma is accusing Johnson & Johnson and a group of affiliated opioid manufacturers of creating a multibillion-dollar public health crisis that has led to thousands of deaths and addictions.

The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports opioids were involved in more than 47,000 overdose deaths in 2017 alone. That year, 388 of the opioid-related deaths were in Oklahoma.

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