Austin Box’s Father Testifies At OK Trial Against Johnson & Johnson

Craig Box recounted his son’s opioid overdose at the first civil trial related to the opioid crisis.

Box’s son, Austin was a University of Oklahoma football player who died in 2011 of an opioid overdose at 22 years old. Box testified about his son’s use of painkillers during the second day of Oklahoma’s landmark opioid trial. The state is hoping to hold drug makers accountable for their alleged role in the spread of the opioid epidemic.

The state settled with Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceuticals before the trial but is squaring off against Johnson & Johnson in court. A win for Oklahoma could set a precedent for other cities and states. Johnson & Johnson have denied the allegations.

Austin’s mom Gail, believes it was “greed” that made the drug companies continue to push their products.

“Nothing can bring my son back,” she said. “You know, money means nothing to me personally, but money going to the right places to research, to treatment that can make a difference. And I’m hoping that that will be the outcome of these lawsuits, and also maybe a wake-up call as the people of nation realize that you know, there were some egregious things that were happening in regard to opioid overprescribing.”

More than 130 people die every day in the U.S. after an opioid overdose.