Some Risperdal Lawsuit Plaintiffs Prohibited From Seeking Punitive Damages in Pennsylvania Litigation
A judge overseeing the consolidated Risperdal lawsuit litigation in Pennsylvania has barred claimants alleging male breast growth from seeking punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson, who they say failed to warn about this side effect in its marketing of the anti-psychotic medication.
The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas ruled on May 2nd that plaintiffs claiming to have developed male gynecomastia, a complication associated with the drug in several of the 500 lawsuits now filed in the Pennsylvania proceeding, will only be allowed to go after compensatory damages. This order will protect Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals from having to pay substantial punitive damage amounts, which are awarded by juries when it is determined that a company exhibited reckless and/or negligent behavior alleged in claims brought against its product.
PA Law Should Apply to Risperdal Gynecomastia Claims, Plaintiffs Say
Plaintiffs in Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits disagree with the ruling, according to recent reports, and argue that the seeking of punitive damage awards should be permitted based on Pennsylvania law. The court ruled, however, that Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is a New Jersey defendant and that rules set forth in that state should be applied to their cases. According to New Jersey regulations, punitive damage awards are prohibited in cases over medications that were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prior to their entrance into the market.
Many of the Risperdal gynecomastia claims now pending in Pennsylvania similarly allege that male breast growth complications may require multiple surgeries to remove the excess breast tissue that allegedly resulted from use of the drug, which may also result in long-term physical and psychological injuries.
In September 2012, Johnson & Johnson agreed to settle a number of Risperdal gynecomastia claims in Philadelphia, which similarly accused the company of failing to warn about side effects associated with the drug. Court records indicate that one of these suits was filed by a 21-year old man who had to undergo breast removal surgery after taking Risperdal, which is approved to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, among other conditions.
Following the Philadelphia judge’s recent order involving punitive damage awards, lawsuits are continuing to move forward with a status conference recently held on Tuesday, May 13.
How to Pursue a Risperdal Lawsuit
Call our Firm today to learn more about Risperdal lawsuits, and to find out whether you may be eligible to seek compensation for lost wages, medical expenses and other damages. Our attorneys can be reached at (877) 779-1414.