A 2015 Risperdal Defense Verdict Reversed

  • A 2015 Risperdal Defense Verdict Reversed

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania reversed a 2015 defense verdict awarded to Janssen Pharmaceuticals by the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on account of insufficient evidence that Risperdal was the cause of the plaintiff's breast growth. However, the jury did find that the drug maker illegally marketed the drug since it was only approved by the FDA for use in adults and the plaintiff was only 6 at the time when he was prescribed this drug. The Court has also ordered a new trial to be limited to the issues of causation and damages.

No class action has been established yet for Risperdal cases. Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas has more than 5,500 Risperdal cases filed, which have been centralized under Complex Litigation Center (CLC) for management before a single judge, given the common issues of law and fact that apply to all Risperdal cases across Pennsylvania. J&J was expecting this rise when it canceled the tolling agreements for thousands of cases.

Formation of a multi-district litigation for federally-filed cases may result if a future need arises. No class action filings have been made so far. Thousands of cases are filed in the state courts of California, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and other courts across the country. Janssen has settled several Risperdal cases in the days leading up to their scheduled jury trials. In 2013, the company agreed to pay more than $1.39 billion as a part of a settlement agreement resolving claims that it illegally marketed Risperdal for use in children, among other allegations. Allegations include unlawful marketing, failing to warn about gynecomastia links and higher risks of gynecomastia as compared to other similar drugs, false promotion, and insufficient warnings.

The Pennsylvania litigation has convened eight Risperdal gynecomastia trials since February 2015. Several Risperdal lawsuits have been settled by the drug maker, both before and during trials for an undisclosed amounts. The defendant settled the cases without admitting any wrongdoing and continues to deny liability for the related injuries.


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