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Johnson & Johnson Settles Risperdal Lawsuit As Trial Begins


May 27, 2015 — Just hours into opening arguments, Johnson & Johnson has settled a lawsuit filed on behalf of a boy from California who developed gynecomastia (female breasts) after taking Risperdal.

Law360 reports that terms of the settlement were not disclosed. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of plaintiff in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceutical unit are facing approximately 1,320 similar lawsuits.

Walker’s case is the third Risperdal lawsuit to go to trial in Philadelphia this year. Johnson & Johnson has had mixed results. The first trial ended in a $2.5 million loss, with the jury finding the drug-maker negligent for failing to warn about gynecomastia, and also finding that Risperdal likely caused the plaintiff’s injury.

The second trial ended in a victory for Johnson & Johnson, with the jury ruling that Risperdal probably did not cause the plaintiff to develop gynecomastia. However, the jury did decide that Johnson & Johnson was negligent for failing to warn about the risk.

Risperdal (risperidone) is a powerful antipsychotic medication that was aggressively marketed “off-label” to children, according to the Justice Department.

Several states have also accused Johnson & Johnson of defrauding the state Medicaid system by tricking doctors into prescribing Risperdal instead of other medications that were cheaper and equally-effective.

Last month, a massive $1.2 billion fine handed down by a judge in Arkansas was slashed to just $7.8 million, according to Bloomberg Business. It was the largest of four similar judgements against the drug-maker by states who accused the drug-maker of improperly marketing Risperdal.


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