$124 Million Risperdal Marketing Penalty Upheld
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Janssen Pharmaceutical’s appeal of a Risperdal lawsuit the company lost back in 2011.The refusal means that Janssen and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, will have to pay $124 million to the state of South Carolina for improperly marketing the antipsychotic medication.
According to court documents, the South Carolina Attorney General had filed a Risperdal lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen in 2003, claiming that the companies had improperly promoted its use in children and concealed its potentially serious risks. Following a guilty verdict in 2011, a state court judge ordered the drug makers to pay $327 million. The judgment included a $300 penalty per sample box of Risperdal that was distributed in the state between 1994 and 2003. He also assessed a $4,000 penalty per publication of a “Dear Doctor” letter that wrongly characterized the drug as having a lower incidence of diabetes and weight gain than a competing medicine.
The South Carolina Supreme Court eventually reduced the penalty to about $124 million because of the state’s three-year statute of limitations on such cases.
According to a report from the Associated Press, a Janssen spokesperson said the company was disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court’s had refused to hear its appeal. Janssen continues to stand by Risperdal as a “a safe and effective medicine that has helped and is still helping millions of patients with debilitating mental illnesses and neurodevelopmental conditions as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.”
Risperdal Gynecomastia Cases Proceed
Meanwhile, more than 1,600 Risperdal users continue to pursue product liability claims in a mass tort program currently underway in Pennsylvania’ Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The majority of those cases involve plaintiffs who allegedly developed gynecomastia – excessive male breast growth – due to Risperdal’s ability to stimulate production of the hormone prolactin. Last year, a number of gynecomastia trials were convened by the court, several of which ended with substantial verdicts for plaintiffs.
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with gynecomastia that could be associated with Risperdal, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP to learn more about your legal rights. Free legal reviews are available by calling 1-877-779-1414.