HARRISBURG, Pa. — Johnson & Johnson asked a Pennsylvania appeals court to throw out 257 Risperdal claims, on the grounds that the statute of limitations had expired.
In January 2015, Judge Arnold New ruled that Jonathan Saksek and Joshua Winter waived their rights to compensation by not filing their lawsuits soon enough, and the same rationale applied to 255 other plaintiffs; Messrs.
Winter and Saksek appealed that ruling. In arguments before the Pennsylvania Superior Court, Johnson & Johnson claimed that the plaintiffs knew about the alleged link between Risperdal and gynecomastia (male breast enlargement) as early as 2006, but did not file lawsuits until their mothers saw attorneys’ television commercials in 2013.
In response, the victims’ attorneys insisted that a jury should decide whether or not the men should have known to file a lawsuit earlier and that the judge used faulty analysis to come up with the decision.
Statute of Limitations
In a negligence case, including a defective drug case, the plaintiff usually has two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. But in many cases, especially defective drug cases, the plaintiff’s injuries may not become apparent for months or years. In these cases, the discovery rule applies.
While the precise elements vary state by state, the discovery rule “tolls” the statute of limitations, which means the clock stops running, until the plaintiff had:
- Actual or constructive knowledge of harm, and
- Sufficient notice as to the cause of that harm.
Knowledge of harm usually means either onset of symptoms of diagnosis of condition. Defense lawyers prefer the former interpretation, because symptoms nearly always precede diagnosis, sometimes by several months or years. But symptoms are not always dispositive; for example, nausea could mean an upset stomach or the onset of kidney failure. Notice is also frequently contested; for example, in the above case, Johnson & Johnson claims that when Janssen changed the label in 2006, the plaintiffs were put on notice.
Most judges strictly interpret the statute of limitations, under the theory that if plaintiffs get too much time to file suit, there is no point in having the statute of limitations to begin with.
Our Defective Medical Device Lawyers Can Help
Our defective medical device attorneys can help if you or someone you care about was harmed while taking Risperdal. Lawsuits have been filed against the drug makers by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused by the dangerous drug. You may be entitled to a settlement.
Our No Fee Promise in Dangerous Drug Cases
You can afford to have our great team of lawyers on your side. When you choose us, it literally costs nothing to get started. We promise you in writing:
- No money to get started,
- We pay all case costs and expenses,
- No legal fees whatsoever unless you receive a settlement, and
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Start Your Dangerous Drug Claim
Our Risperdal attorneys will help you file your lawsuit. To get started, you can:
- Submit the Free Case Review Box on this page, or
- Call (866) 280-4722 any time of day to tell us about your case.
We will listen to your story and answer your questions. If you have claim, we will start immediately.
WARNING: There are strict time deadlines for filing Risperdal lawsuit claims.