Risperdal Lawsuit Plaintiffs Argue Penn. Court’s Decision to Rule Against Punitive Damages
Plaintiffs involved in Risperdal lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania have asked the judge overseeing claims alleging male breast growth to reconsider his decision to bar punitive damages from similar actions against Johnson & Johnson.
According to court records, claimants who allege gynecomastia, a condition categorized by male breast growth as a side effect of the antipsychotic medication filed a motion on June 2nd requesting that the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas allow the issue of punitive damages to be decided on a case by case basis.
The document was filed exactly a month after the Pennsylvania judge ruled that the New Jersey Product Liability Act prohibits punitive damages from claims alleging Risperdal gynecomastia, which may result in lactation and necessitate liposuction, mastectomy and other surgical procedures to remove excess breast tissue that developed as a result of the antipsychotic. According to the Act, product liability lawsuits involving a drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FAD) are ineligible to receive punitive damage awards if there is no evidence that fraud was committed on the FDA.
Judge Presiding over Risperdal Suits Rules in Favor of New Jersey Law
In the Court’s decision on May 2nd, the judge ruled that New Jersey regulation should apply to cases alleging that the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals promoted Risperdal off-label for use in children, which allegedly led to damages incurred by the young boys who took the drug. The Court ruled that Janssen did most of its business in New Jersey, so claims involving the marketing of Risperdal should follow rules enacted by the New Jersey Product Liability Act.
Plaintiffs disagree with the Court ruling, arguing in their motion that applying the laws of the state where each plaintiff was prescribed and used Risperdal might be more appropriate. They also noted that the antipsychotic medication was not approved for pediatric uses until 2006, so its treatment in children before then should be considered an off-label use.
“Each analysis involves case-specific considerations that can be assessed properly only within the context of an individual case,” the motion states. Based on these arguments, the Court “should reconsider and vacate its May 2 order because neither choice-of-law nor the availability of punitive damages are matters that can be decided in Risperdal litigation on a global basis.”
If Judge New will not rescind his earlier decision on punitive damages, the plaintiffs’ ask that he finalize the ruling and declare it appealable.
According to an attorney for plaintiffs involved in this litigation, at least 350 lawsuits, many of which alleging Risperdal gynecomastia complications, have now been filed in the proceeding.
File a Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit
If you or a man you love grew male breasts after taking Risperdal, you may be eligible to file a claim against Johnson & Johnson. Call our Firm today at (877) 779-1414.