LANDMARK OPIOID TRIAL

On Monday, a judge in Oklahoma found Johnson & Johnson liable for driving the state’s opioid epidemic. The judge ordered J&J to pay $572 million in damages–substantially less than what investors had expected, but a landmark ruling nevertheless, serving as an important benchmark for pharmaceutical executives facing similar lawsuits.

PELOTON = HAPPINESS?

Peloton, best known for at-home fitness equipment and accompanying streaming fitness services, made its IPO documents public on Tuesday, highlighting widening losses ($245.7 million) but reminding us that it ‘sells happiness.’ And while this happiness comes at a hefty price ($2,245 bikes, $4,295 treadmills, plus cost of subscriptions and/or digital memberships), we’re buying it. Peloton says it has > 511,000 “connected fitness” subscribers, and that its weighted average retention rate of these subscribers is an astounding 95%. That’s loyalty! Peloton, which refers to itself as a “technology, media, software, product, experience, fitness, design, retail, apparel, logistics company,” will list under the ticker “PTON,” and trade on the Nasdaq.

EEE VIRUS

You’ve likely been hearing about Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) – the rare, but dangerous mosquito-borne virus that’s made its way to Massachusetts and other states (including parts of New Jersey and Michigan, where a teenage girl is fighting for her life). There have been a handful of reported cases thus far, and as we learned a few days ago, one fatality: a 59-year old mother and wife. Public health officials are warning residents in dozens of communities to take precautions. They’re also reminding us that the peak time for transmission of this illness – which kills 50% of those infected – extends through September. Mosquitoes remain active until a hard frost.

HURRICANE DORIAN

A sigh of relief for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, but panic for Florida’s east coast: Dorian remains on track to make landfall there early Monday, possibly as a Category 4.