Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal Behind Massive Spike in Mass Tort Litigation

Risperdal-V2-headerBy Anjelica Cappellino. This article is reprinted from The Expert Institute.

There has been a huge spike in mass tort litigation due to the Johnson & Johnson medication, Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Risperdal has been the center of litigation for years due to allegations that the drug causes breast tissue growth in young men, a condition called gynecomastia. This past year, however, Risperdal has accounted for over a third of all mass tort lawsuits pending in the Philadelphia Complex Litigation Center. Mostly comprised of individual suits rather than class actions, the verdicts may differ greatly, depending upon the evidence presented in each case. Due to the scientific and medical nature of the drug’s effects, experts in the field may strongly impact the verdict.

Risperdal’s Litigation History and Current Lawsuits

Risperdal has received a significant amount of attention dating back to 1994, when the drug first went on the market and Johnson & Johnson was accused of illegal marketing activities. In one of the largest health care fraud settlements in United States history, Johnson & Johnson was forced to pay more than $2 billion in penalties and settlements to state and government entities as a result of lawsuits relating to Risperdal and two other drugs, as well as civil and criminal complaints about their use. The Department of Justice stated Risperdal and two other Johnson & Johnson drugs were promoted for dementia patients, when Risperdal was approved only to treat schizophrenia. The Food and Drug Administration did not approve this use as safe and effective.

Deceptive marking actions are not the only claims against Risperdal.  The largest cause of action against the drug is that it causes men to develop gynecomastia. This breast development can have devastating and long-term effects on young men. At least 13,000 product liability claims involving Risperdal have been filed in courts around the United States, alleging that Johnson & Johnson was aware that the medication could cause gynecomastia, but concealed that information to the public.

Most of the current litigation is pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court and the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania, where a small group of cases went to trial as part of a bellwether trial process. In February 2015, in one of the first cases to go to trial, a Pennsylvania jury awarded $2.5 million in damages to a 20-year old male plaintiff who had been using Risperdal since he was eight years old. A month later at the second trial, the plaintiff was not awarded any damages after a jury concluded that there was insufficient evidence that Risperdal caused his breast growth. However, the jury did find that the company provided inadequate safety warnings. In November of that same year, a separate jury in the same court awarded $1.75 million to another Risperdal user who developed breasts after taking the drug since age five. In July 2016, the largest award in Philadelphia Risperdal litigation was reached. A jury awarded a Tennessee teenager $70 million in damages after finding that Johnson & Johnson officials failed to warn the young man and his family that the drug could cause him to grow breasts. Most recently, in January 2017, Johnson & Johnson entered into a pre-trial settlement days before another Philadelphia trial, a case which would have been the seventh trial about Risperdal’s link to gynecomastia.

With more than 2,000 cases pending in the Complex Litigation Center of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and another 300 cases pending in Los Angeles Superior Court, litigation is far from over. The total number of mass tort cases pending in Philadelphia’s Complex Litigation Center at the beginning of 2017 has risen to its highest level in more than five years. Risperdal accounts for the second largest percentage of cases, making up more than 31 percent of Philadelphia’s mass tort docket. In 2016, there were 550 pending Risperdal cases, a 40 percent increase from the previous year.

How Have the Experts Weighed in?

Since the inception of the first lawsuit, expert witnesses were vital to the outcome of the case. David Kessler, a pediatrician and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, has been a vocal expert witness in the Risperdal litigation. Since 2012, Kessler has offered his expert services to plaintiffs as both a pediatrician and failure-to-warn expert, writing detailed reports about Johnson & Johnson’s promotion of Risperdal for non-approved uses in children. In 2015, Kessler testified in a Philadelphia trial that Johnson & Johnson knew as early as 2001 that Risperdal could cause gynecomastia in boys, five years before the company adding a warning about such a side effect on its label. The crux of most Risperdal cases is whether the company adequately warned the plaintiff of the drug’s side effects. Therefore, expert testimony like Kessler’s is indispensable in establishing that Risperdal did not contain adequate warnings of its possible side effects.

As plaintiffs often begin taking Risperdal in their youth, pediatricians have served as vital expert witnesses in explaining the effects of the drug on young males. Pediatric neurologists and endocrinologists have testified to explain how the drug affects the hormone levels and nervous system. Specifically, the drug stimulates the pituitary gland and elevates levels of prolactin, a hormone that is related to female breast development and lactation in nursing mothers.

In addition to Risperdal’s long-term effects on young men, the causal link between Risperdal and gynecomastia must also be established. As David Kessler previously testified in January 2015, he concludes that there is a connection. Kessler has pointed to a clinical trial, funded by Johnson & Johnson, that showed 3.8% of young males using Risperdal developed breasts. Kessler testified that the medication “probably or very likely” triggered the condition. Because gynecomastia is caused by elevated amounts of prolactin, experts have testified that if children’s levels of prolactin are monitored while on the medication, the development of gynecomastia can be more easily recognized, opposed to incorrectly attributing the side effects to weight gain.

In light of the growing mass tort litigation, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is scheduled to convene a meeting on March 9, 2017 concerning its centralized docket of Risperdal claims. Although several plaintiffs have reached confidential settlements prior to trial thus far, there are thousands of cases that are still pending and there are no signs that litigation will slow down in 2017.

Read More

Janssen Settles Latest Risperdal Case Before Trial in Philadelphia

Risperdal causes gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, in men.
Risperdal causes gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, in men.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. settled the lawsuit of a New York boy who took the antipsychotic drug Risperdal and grew female breasts, just before the case was to go on trial in  Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, according to Law360.

The case is Zachary Sabol et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., case number 130402100, and the settlement amount was not disclosed. It would have been the seventh trial in Philadelphia’s mass tort program, where 2,300 cases are pending against the drug maker.

The plaintiff and his family filed suit against Janssen in 2013 charging that he developed gynecomastia, or the abnormal growth of female breast tissue, after being treated with Risperdal for nearly a decade.

The FDA approved Riserdal in 2006 for treating autism in adolescents. When Sabol began taking the drug, however, it was only approved for use in adults and indicated that gynecomastia was a rare side effect that occurred in fewer than one in 1,000 patients. Warning labels were later updated to show there was a 2.3 percent rate of gynecomastia in adolescents taking the drug.

The litigation has continued for three years in Philadelphia. Another 16,000 case are consolidated in California Superior Court in Los Angeles with the first trials set for July.  Three earlier trials have resulted in verdicts in favor of the injured plaintiff in the amount of $2.5 Million, $1.75 Million, and $500,000.  In all the trials, juries have found that J&J failed to adequately warn of the risks of gynecomastia.

Recent Headlines in Risperdal:

Infographic: The Disgraceful History of Risperdal

New Judge Knocks Out Plaintiff’s Expert, Abruptly Dismisses Risperdal Case

Plaintiffs Settle Risperdal Case with Johnson & Johnson in Philadelphia Court

Philly Judge Adds $6.66 Million Delay Interest to $70M Risperdal Verdict

Kentucky AG Settles Risperdal and OxyContin False Marketing Cases for $39.5 Million

Read More

New Judge Knocks Out Plaintiff’s Expert, Abruptly Dismisses Risperdal Case

Dr. Mark P. Solomon, a plastic surgeon in Bala Cynwyd, PA.
Expert witness Dr. Mark P. Solomon, a plastic surgeon in Bala Cynwyd, PA.

On the 11th day of a trial on whether Risperdal caused a young man to grow female breasts, a Philadelphia judge who is new to the mass torts litigation, rejected the expert testimony of a physician who has testified in nearly all the Risperal cases, and dismissed the case.

The ruling was shocking, in light of the $70 million verdict returned on July 8, 2016, by a jury also in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas that the antipsychotic drug caused a Tennessee boy to grow female breasts. That case was heard before Judge Paula Patrick.  The verdict followed other plaintiff successes, totaling $4.75 million, that plaintiffs have recovered so far in earlier Risperdal cases.

The expert — Dr. Mark P. Solomon — has testified for the plaintiffs since a $2.5 million verdict was returned in Feb. 2014, in favor of the plaintiff, Austin Pledger, who took Risperdal for autism and developed enlarged breasts, or gynecomastia, from taking the drug.

“Legally insufficient”

Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin in Houston, TX.
Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin in Houston, TX.

In the latest case, Moroni  v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., case number 130501076, state judge Sean Kennedy ruled, “At the conclusion of my research and my staff’s research, it is my opinion that under Texas law, Dr. Solomon’s testimony is legally insufficient to prove causation in this case, and as such, I am granting defendant’s motion for compulsory nonsuit.”

According to the motion for nonsuit filed by Janssen, Dr. Solomon based his opinion solely on reviewing a photo of the plaintiff. Dr. Soloman practices in, among other things, male breast reduction.

“The court’s ruling was totally unexpected in a case which had more than sufficient expert support under the governing law,” said plaintiff attorney Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin LLP said in a statement. “We are confident that the erroneous ruling will be reversed, and our client, Tommy Moroni, will be heard by a jury on another day.”

Moroni’s case was the sixth to go to trial in Philadelphia’s Risperdal mass tort program, which consists of about 2,000 cases.

Plaintiff Tommy Moroni started taking the powerful antipsychotic as a 7-year-old boy living in Wichita Falls, Texas, in 2004 to treat ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. He took the drug for four years, but then a doctor diagnosed him with gynecomastia in Nov. 2010.

The litigation has continued for three years in Philadelphia. Another 16,000 case are consolidated in California Superior Court in Los Angeles with the first trials set for July.  Three earlier trials have resulted in verdicts in favor of the injured plaintiff in the amount of $2.5 Million, $1.75 Million, and $500,000.  In all the trials, juries have found that J&J failed to adequately warn of the risks of gynecomastia.

 

Read More

New Risperdal Mass Tort Trial Underway Against J&J in Philadelphia

Risperdal causes gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, in men.
Risperdal causes gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, in men.

The sixth trial against Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen subsidiary concerning its Risperdal anti-psychotic drug is underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Plaintiff Tommy Moroni of Sargent, Nebraska alleges that he was first prescribed Risperdal in Dec. 2004 to treat his oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety and depression. He took the drug for four years after a doctor diagnosed him with gynecomastia in Nov. 2010. Moroni  v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., case number 130501076, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

2,000 lawsuits filed

Plaintiff attorney Jason Itkin or Arnold & Itkin in Philadelphia argued that Risperdal causes spikes in the prolactin hormone, causing  gynecomastia, or the development of female breast tissue.

The litigation has continued for three years, with 2,000 plaintiff cases filed in Philadelphia. Another 16,000 case are consolidated in California Superior Court in Los Angeles with the first trials set for July.  Three earlier trials have resulted in verdicts in favor of the injured plaintiff in the amount of $2.5 Million, $1.75 Million, and $500,000.  In all the trials, juries have found that J&J failed to adequately warn of the risks of gynecomastia.

Among the evidence against J&J are:

  • Video testimony from former FDA Commissioner David Kessler that J&J manipulated the data shown to the agency to obscure that it causes gynecomastia.
  • The FDA approved Risperdal only for treating schizophrenia in adults. The warning label said that gynecomastia was a rare side effect.
  • The FDA declined to approve the drug for children in 1997, but in Oct. 2006 approved it to treat symptoms of autism in adolescents.
  • Internal emails show company officials saying the drug was worse than its competitors in terms of prolactin elevation.

Johnson & Johnson was fined more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines in November 2013. It settled accusations that it improperly promoted Risperdal to older adults, children and people with developmental disabilities, according to the Justice Department.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced a $15.5 million settlement in December 2015 with Johnson & Johnson regarding Risperdal. The consumer protection lawsuit charged that Johnson & Johnson falsely marketed the drug and hid the side effects from consumers.

 

Read More

Plaintiffs Settle Risperdal Case with Johnson & Johnson in Philadelphia Court

Risperdal causes gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, in men.
Risperdal causes gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, in men.

The parties in a case charging that a boy who took Risperdal, causing him to grow female breasts, settled for an undisclosed amount with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Meanwhile, appeals continue over when the statute of limitations begins to run for victims of the Risperdal side effects.

  • A total of 2,085 Risperdal products liability cases are pending in the Complex Litigation Center of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
  • Another 300 cases are pending in the Superior Court of Los Angeles.

J&J Suppressed Science

In the Philadelphia case that settled, the plaintiff started taking Risperdal at age six for Asperger’s syndrome. N.F. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Case No. 13500998. It would have been the sixth case to go to trial over evidence that Janssen hid a scientific link between the antipsychotic drug and male breast growth, or gynecomastia.

Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin in Houston, TX.
Plaintiff attorney Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin in Houston, TX.

Risperdal was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2002 to treat schizophrenia, but was not cleared for use in children until 2006.

Evidence that the company lied  about the scientific link and hid it from the Food and Drug Administration led to a $70 million jury verdict against Janssen on July 1. The case is Andrew Yount v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., case number 1304002094, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. 

The jury in the Yount case found that J&J intentionally falsified, concealed, or destroyed material evidence,” states a press release from Arnold & Itkin.

“During trial, evidence that became known in the case as ‘Tab 4,’ was publicly revealed for the first time. Tab 4 includes scientific data showing a link between Risperdal and gynecomastia. The lawyers made a case that J&J intentionally kept Tab 4 secret- withholding it from the FDA and keeping it out of published scientific studies,” the press release states.

Janssen knew about a key safety analysis since 2002, but failed to give it to the FDA, as they should have, when looking to get Risperdal approved for children, according to New Brunswick Today.

In 2013 the Department of Justice penalized Johnson & Johnson for more than $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil investigations allegations include off-label marketing and kickbacks to doctors and pharmacists relating to Risperdal.

Appeal over Statute of Limitations

A appeals panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court may decide in three cases whether plaintiffs should have been reasonably aware that Risperdal caused breast enlargement as of June 30, 2009, starting the statute of limitations.

In January 2015 Judge Arnold L. New, the Coordinating Judge of the Complex Litigation Center, ruled that plaintiffs had two years to file a claim starting from the 2009 date. In Re: Risperdal Litigation, case numbers 576 EDA 2015, 590 EDA 2015 and 2451 EDA 2015, in the Superior Court of the State of Pennsylvania.

Judge New said the potential connection between Risperdal and gynecomastia had been revealed in several medical journals and media reports, and added to the drug’s warning label.

In oral arguments in September, plaintiff attorneys argued to the appeals court that the trial judge had improperly attempted to set a global accrual date for Risperdal claims that didn’t conform to the individual experiences of the two men whose cases served as a springboard for the ruling.

Read More

More Risperdal Cases Set for Trial in Philadelphia

Derek T. Braslow
Derek T. Braslow

Eight cases involving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal are set for trial against Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, with the company settling cases even as it denies that the drug causes disfiguring gynecomastia in boys.

Risperdal, a prescription medication used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, has caused gynecomastia, or the development of female breast tissue, according to leading plaintiff’s lawyer Derek T. Braslow of Pogust, Braslow & Millrood in Conshohocken, PA. This condition resulted from elevated levels of the hormone prolactin in the plaintiffs – which they allege is from their use of Risperdal.

Read these updates:

Risperdal Docket in Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

Plaintiffs Settle Risperdal Case with Johnson & Johnson in Philadelphia Court

New Judge Knocks Out Plaintiff’s Expert, Abruptly Dismisses Risperdal Case

$70 million Verdict against Janssen Pharma in Risperdal Breast-Growth Case

The litigation has been continuing for three years, with 2,000 plaintiff cases filed in Philadelphia and the next trial set for January.  Another 16,000 case are consolidated in California Superior Court in Los Angeles with the first trials set for July.  Three earlier trials have resulted in verdicts in favor of the injured plaintiff in the amount of $2.5 Million, $1.75 Million, and $500,000.  In all the trials, juries have found that J&J failed to adequately warn of the risks of gynecomastia.

Fined $2.2 Billion

Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, never got approval to market the drug for minors. Johnson & Johnson was fined more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines in November 2013. It settled accusations that it improperly promoted the  drug to older adults, children and people with developmental disabilities, according to the Justice Department.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced a $15.5 million settlement in December 2015 with Johnson & Johnson regarding Risperdal. The consumer protection lawsuit charged that Johnson & Johnson falsely marketed the drug and hid the side effects from consumers.

Former commissioner of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) David Kessler testified in 2015 that the company hid information about the gynecomastia risk as early as 6 years before it changed the drug’s label to include the injury, which is characterized by abnormal breast tissue growth in adolescent boys and young men. He also told the jury that Janssen failed to inform physicians of the gynecomastia risk associated with the drug.

Scientific research supports claims that Risperdal may cause gynecomastia in boys. A study published in a 2006 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology indicated that risperidone, which is the generic of Risperdal, “administered to adolescents at doses commonly used for the treatment of psychotic symptoms can strongly increase prolactin levels, with clinical consequences such as gynecomastia.”

Braslow said that J&J has been settling Risperdal cases, but the amounts are not disclosed. The highest settlements are for boys who undergo double mastectomy.  He advised plaintiff lawyers to focus on cases involving prescriptions written from 2000 to 2006.

Risperdal has carried a black-box warning by the FDA since September 2006 to warn about the increased risk of death in elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis. In addition to the increased risk of death in the elderly, Risperdal has added warnings associated with Tardive Dyskinesia, which is the development of abnormal facial, shoulder and limb movements that a patient cannot control.

Read More

Philly Judge Adds $6.66 Million Delay Interest to $70M Risperdal Verdict

Risperdal causes gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, in men.
Risperdal causes gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, in men.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Paula Patrick ordered Janssen Pharmaceuticals to pay an additional $6.66 million in delay damages to plaintiff Andrew Yount and his family after they recovered a $70 million jury verdict last month.

The damages were calculated at 4.25% annually starting April 16, 2014, when the complaint was served, and increasing to 4.5% from April 16, 2016, to July 1, 2016, the date of the verdict.

The case is Andrew Yount, et. al., vs. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et. al., Case No. 130402094.

Yount began taking Risperdal in 2003 to treat psychiatric problems. When the drug caused him to develop gynecomastia, or the abnormal growth of breast tissue, he filed suit in April 2013.

During the trial, plaintiff attorney Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin LLP in Houston argued that Jannsen knew at the time that Risperdal was associated with spikes of the prolactin hormone, which causes the gynecomastia.

It was the fifth Risperdal lawsuit tried in Philadelphia, and by far the largest verdict so far. Earlier verdicts ranged from $500,000 to $2.2 million. The jury also found that Janssen “intentionally falsified, destroyed or concealed records.”

Gynecomastia

Lawyers for the plaintiff demonstrated that Janssen, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, attempted to downplay the risks of the drug causing gynecomastia, a condition in which boys develop female breast tissue. While the drug was initially approved for a small market, those suffering from bipolar and schizophrenia-related disorders, Janssen reportedly worked to expand doctors’ recommendations of the drug to include treatments for dementia, behavioral problems, and autism. At the time the plaintiff began taking the drug the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had only approved it for adult use.

Follow our continuing coverage:

Plaintiffs 3-for-4 in Philadelphia Risperdal trials, confident punitive damages will be reintroduced

Kentucky AG Settles Risperdal and OxyContin False Marketing Cases for $39.5 Million

Read More

Emerging and Ongoing Mass Tort Litigation Update

MTN

You can’t miss this!
 

Mass Tort Nexus has added the hottest emerging litigation to its September Course: RoundUp Litigation. This could be the biggest mass tort since asbestos.

In addition to the hands-on practical knowledge all course attendees receive, we are privileged to have an all-star panel of attorney speakers discussing current, emerging and ongoing Mass Tort litigations.

Best of all, this program will be interactive.  There will be ample Q&A after each presentation.

Whether you have dabbled in Mass Torts or are new to the practice area, the “Four Day Mass Tort Success Course” will help you avoid common mistakes, while giving you a road map to success in Mass Torts.  We teach you a step by step process to make sure you understand the methods and metrics of this practice area.

Please join us  Sept 23rd  – Sept 26th for the “Four Days to Mass Tort Success Course” in Fort Lauderdale.  Contact Barbara Capasso at (954) 383-3932 or barbara@masstortnexus.com for more information.

RoundUp Cancer Emerging Litigation 
 
timothy-litzenburg-200x300

Timothy Litzenberg will be addressing the emerging RoundUp Cancer litigation. Timothy filed one of the original complaints in district court on behalf of a client who developed cancer after exposure to RoundUp. He is also one of the attorneys supporting the Plaintiffs’ motion to consolidate and transfer (i.e., to form an MDL) currently before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.

In district court, Monsanto failed to derail the RoundUp litigation. Monsanto, as well as Plaintiffs attorneys including Tim have now separately moved to support the formation of an MDL. This emerging Toxic Tort may involve more plaintiffs than any in history. Do not miss out on the chance to get information on this litigation in its early
stages. 
IVC Filter Product Liability Litigation

John Dalimonte now serves on the Steering Committee of the Cook Medical IVC filter litigation and the Bard IVC filter Litigation. He will be speaking about  the Cook and Bard IVC litigations, as well as other ongoing and emerging IVC Filter Litigation, which involve more IVC manufacturers. John has served in leadership positions on a number of MDLs and was Co-Lead Counsel in the Vioxx product liability litigation.

The IVC filter litigation may be one of the largest mass product liability litigation’s of all time, with respect to the number of plaintiffs and payouts. This litigation puts the “complex” in complex litigation and the opportunity to interact with one of the leading attorneys in this case is invaluable.
Proton Pump Inhibitor Product Liability Litigation

Bryan Aylstock will present the emerging Proton Pump Inhibitor litigation. Bryan is currently serving as one of three coordinating Co-Lead Counsel members charged with overseeing five separate Multi-District Litigations (MDLs), involving the use of TVM products. Additionally, Bryan has served in leadership positions in the Zoloft product liability litigation, the Avandia product liability litigation, as well as other MDLs.

Bryan is an outstanding lawyer and arguably one of the best business minds in Mass Torts. The opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an emerging litigation with guidance from a tested Mass Tort gladiator is worth the trip to Fort Lauderdale.

 Risperdal Product Liability Litigation

Derek Braslow will be speaking about the Risperdal product liability litigation. Derek now serves as Liaison Counsel in the Risperdal litigation and has served in many Court-appointed leadership positions in other pharmaceutical litigations. He has been in leadership positions on many MDLs, including Co-Liaison Counsel Zimmer Durom Hip Cup, as well as leadership positions in the Levaquin product liability litigation and the Paxil suicide litigation.

The Risperdal litigation is not a typical Mass Tort litigation. Derek’s insights on the Risperdal case will give knowledge and information that will be useful far beyond this single litigation.
 
Talcum Powder Product Liability Litigation
 
James Onder will be speaking on the subject of the Talcum Powder litigation. He is one of the lead attorneys in the City of Saint Louis consolidation, which has already produced multiple Jury verdicts exceeding fifty million dollars each.
James, and other members of his firm, have served as co-lead counsel and in various leadership positions on many MDLs. The opportunity to hear James speak about a difficult litigation, that he and his co-counsel firms managed to achieve massive jury awards in will be  an opportunity you won’t want  to miss.  
 
Xarelto Litigation
&
Stryker Hip Litigation “Life After the MDL”
 

Joseph Osborne will be speaking on the Stryker Hip Litigation, as well as other Hip Implant litigation. Long after other firms stopped accepting or seeking clients for the metal on metal hip implant litigations, Joseph continued to accept clients who were, and continue to be, injured by these defective products.He served in leadership positons on the Stryker Nexgen Knee MDL, the Biomet M2 Hip MDL, the Stryker Hip MDL, the American Medical System TVM MDL, as well as many other multidistrict litigations.

Joe also serves on the Science Committee in the Xarelto MDL and will be providing information about this litigation.
 
Taxotere, Onglyza and Fluoroquinolones
 
Ryan Thompson will round out the panel speaking and answering questions about three litigations every firm should be considering.  Not yet forty years old, Ryan has already achieved a record of achievements, that most lawyers would consider a stellar lifetime career. He served as Co-Lead Counsel on the Incretin Memetics Litigation, as well as in leadership positions on many MDLs. Ryan is often involved in emerging litigations in a major way. His grasp of the science involved in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation and his willingness to take risks have resulted in his incredible rise in the world of Mass Tort litigation.
One of Ryan’s early victories involved taking on a major credit reporting agency and collecting 28 Million dollars, in a litigation other firms had overlooked. Ryan brings a unique perspective to mass torts. It is a privilege to hear Ryan speak and even more of a privilege to get to know him.

Contact Barbara Capasso at (954) 383-3932 or barbara@masstortnexus.com for information and to book your seat for the September Course.

 

Read More

$70 million Verdict against Janssen Pharma in Risperdal Breast-Growth Case

risperdal-infographicA jury in Philadelphia ruled on July 8 that the antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused a Tennessee boy to grow breasts and imposed a $70 million verdict on its manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Lawyers for the boy argued that scientists for the company were well aware of the risks and sought to downplay them. The company disputed that allegation during the Common Pleas Court trial and said that physicians were fully informed of potential side effects.

It was the fifth Risperdal lawsuit tried in Philadelphia, and by far the largest verdict so far. Earlier verdicts ranged from $500,000 to $2.2 million. the jury also found that Janssen “intentionally falsified, destroyed or concealed records.” That finding is necesdsary for plaintiffs to recover more than the $750,000 damages cap that Tennessee law imposes on noneconomic damages.

The products liability action, Case C.P. Philadelphia No. 130402094, was heard before Judge Paula Patrick.

Gynecomastia

Plaintiffs Counsel was Jason Itkin, Arnold & Itkin in Houston. Defense Counsel was David Abernethy, Drinker Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia. A spokeswoman for Janssen said the verdict went against the evidence, and the company will seek an appeal.

Lawyers for the plaintiff demonstrated that Janssen, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, attempted to downplay the risks of the drug causing gynecomastia, a condition in which boys develop female breast tissue. While the drug was initially approved for a small market, those suffering from bipolar and schizophrenia related disorders, Janssen reportedly worked to expand doctors’ recommendations of the drug to include treatments for dementia, behavioral problems, and autism. At the time the plaintiff began taking the drug the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had only approved it for adult use.

Follow our continuing coverage:

Plaintiffs 3-for-4 in Philadelphia Risperdal trials, confident punitive damages will be reintroduced

Kentucky AG Settles Risperdal and OxyContin False Marketing Cases for $39.5 Million

Read More