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J&J Asks Judge to Toss Time-Barred Risperdal Lawsuits


May 29, 2014 — Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit have asked a Philadelphia judge to throw out time-barred lawsuits involving Risperdal (risperidone). If the judge agrees, hundreds of cases could be thrown out of the litigation because the “statute of limitations” has expired on their claim.

There are currently about 500 lawsuits pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Plaintiffs allege that drug-makers aggressively promoted Risperdal for unapproved uses and failed to warn about severe side effects, including gynecomastia (male breast growth) and type-2 diabetes.

Defense attorneys say they warned about the link between Risperdal and gynecomastia on October 31, 2006. They say the “statute of limitations” began to run no later than that date. For people who were injured before this date, attorneys argued that the statute of limitations began to run on the date of injury.

Each state has its own statute of limitations on civil claims — usually between one and four years after the date of injury. This is why it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after you are injured by a defective drug. The problem is that some injuries, including diabetes and gynecomastia, take years to develop. Unfortunately, the complications may be permanent.

Last November, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice a $2.2 billion settlement to resolve civil and criminal investigations involving illegal promotion of Risperdal and two other drugs. Prosecutors claimed that Risperdal was marketed toward children, despite the fact that pediatric uses were not approved until 2006.


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