LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Despite the original verdict in an Arkansas Risperdal case, which held that Johnson & Johnson would have to pay over $1 billion, J&J has allegedly agreed to pay less than 1 percent of the original verdict — a mere $7.5 million — in a settlement, which would include $2 million worth of legal fees.
In this case, the Arkansas Supreme Court held that the original $1.2 billion judgment is not valid because the initial lawsuit was filed under a law that only applies to healthcare facilities — not pharmaceutical companies like the defendants in these cases, which largely allege that the defendants were aware that Risperdal could have negative side effects on its users, such as male breast development, but that they still marketed the drug to children for off-label use.
The huge variance in the final award figures is not unique to this Risperdal case.
For example, an initial verdict called for Johnson & Johnson to pay $327 million in a judgment in South Carolina. However, that verdict was later slashed by more than half — down to $136 million — on appeal to the South Carolina Supreme Court. On the other hand, Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay over $2 billion to the U.S. Department of Justice in a similar lawsuit.
In a separate suit in Philadelphia, a jury awarded a sole plaintiff and former Risperdal user $2.5 million in damages when he developed breasts after taking the medication as an adolescent.
The details of the settlement are still being worked out, and any settlement will still need to be approved by the judge who heard the initial case.
However, it appears that the terms include a provision that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (who was also named as a defendant in the suit) will pay the money but will not admit any wrongdoing or liability in this or any other Risperdal lawsuit. Although the 1,000 Risperdal cases currently waiting to be heard are all similar, the verdicts in each of them may vary significantly considering the results of the cases that have already been heard.
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Our dangerous drug attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by Risperdal.
Lawsuits have been filed against the drug maker by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by this dangerous drug. You may be entitled to a settlement.We do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement and we pay all of the case costs.
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