Johnson & Johnson saw its legal costs spike by 480% last year, to $817 million. According to a report published by The Financial Times, the company had been named a defendant in more than 107,000 lawsuits by the beginning of 2017, thousands of which involved its atypical antipsychotic Risperdal.

In a recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Johnson & Johnson asserted that the growing litigation was unlikely to have much of an impact on its bottom line. However, the company acknowledged that resolving claims could have a “material adverse effect” on some of its quarterly earnings.

Risperdal Lawsuits

Risperdal is the subject of at least 18,500 lawsuits, many of which involve a condition called gynecomastia that results in the growth of female-like breasts in men and boys. Most of the pending Risperdal lawsuits are centralized in litigations underway in Pennsylvania, Missouri and New Jersey. Pennsylvania’s mass tort program in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas has been notable, as a number of gynecomastia cases have gone to trial there over the past two years. Several trials have ended with verdicts for plaintiffs, with juries ordering Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit to pay compensatory damages ranging from $500,000 to $70 million.

Other Johnson & Johnson Litigations

Other lawsuits involving Johnson & Johnson products include 17,000 filed on behalf of individuals who were allegedly injured by the blood thinner Xarelto. The majority of those claims have been filed in a multidistrict litigation that is now underway in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, where the first bellwether trial is to be convened next month. Additional Xarelto lawsuits have been centralized in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Johnson & Johnson is also named a defendant in more than 3,000 lawsuits involving its talcum powder products and ovarian cancer. According to, the company has only prevailed in one of four trials convened over the past year in Missouri state court in St Louis. Damages awarded to plaintiffs in the other three trials amounted to $70 million, $72 million and $55 million.

Finally, Johnson & Johnson continues to face thousands of lawsuits involving transvaginal mesh products marketed by its Ethicon, Inc. subsidiary, as well as metal-on-metal hip lawsuits for devices manufactured by DePuy Orthopaedics.

Contact an Attorney Today

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is representing plaintiffs in lawsuits involving Risperdal and other Johnson & Johnson products. To learn more, please contact our office at 877-779-1414.

Published March 13, 2017 by