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Risperdal Side Effects Cost Johnson & Johnson $8 Billion in Philadelphia Lawsuit
Johnson & Johnson is an established brand, trusted by parents and doctors alike. In 2018 alone, the company earned $82 billion for its medical devices and prescription drugs. But its reputation has recently come under fire. Last year, for example, a St. Louis jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay 22 women nearly $5 billion in compensation for the link between the company’s baby powder and ovarian cancer. In August of this year, an Oklahoma court ordered the company to pay almost $6 million for contributing to the state’s opioid crisis. Finally, on October 8th, 2019, a Philadelphia jury produced the medical giant’s most expensive settlement yet: $8 billion.
In 2003, 9-year old Nicholas Murray was prescribed Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal for symptoms of autism. This anti-psychotic drug has also been used to treat psychological conditions and emotional issues such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability. After using the drug, however, Murray developed an incurable condition called gynecomastia, which causes abnormal growth of female breast tissue. Ten years later, he became one of more than 13,000 plaintiffs suing the company that sold the product: Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. These lawsuits claimed that Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to properly warn doctors and patients about the drug’s risks.
In 2015, Murray sued for $1.75 million in compensatory damages, but the judge barred punitive damages and reduced it to $680,000 in 2016. Murray appealed this decision in 2018, and on October 8th of this year, the Philadelphia jury awarded him the unprecedented $8 billion verdict.
Understating the risk of gynecomastia was not the company’s only crime. It also illegally advertised Risperdal as a drug that could control people’s problematic behaviors. It was then prescribed for patients ranging from children with behavioral disabilities to senior citizens with dementia.
This $8 billion award was the biggest yet among these lawsuits. Overall, however, Johnson & Johnson has not expressed remorse in any of these cases. The healthcare giant has already begun working to overturn the verdict, stating the decision was “excessive and unfounded.” They claimed the jury failed to produce significant evidence and ignored the fact that Risperdal’s label outlined the risks. The company does not have a history of admitting fault, even in previous settlements such as the Oklahoma opioid case.
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When you see a doctor for an illness or condition, you likely expect to leave with an effective treatment designed to improve your health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and our attorneys at Somera & Silva, LLP have worked with clients throughout Florida who have been wronged by healthcare establishments such as Johnson & Johnson. We strongly believe you should be able to trust your medical professionals, and we work every day to hold those professionals accountable.
If you are looking for a skilled, dedicated, and compassionate lawyer to represent you in court, call (561) 981-8881 today. We look forward to helping you obtain the justice you deserve.