Risperdal Cases Seek Punitive Damages
Nearly three years ago, two juries in Philadelphia awarded compensatory damages to clients in two lawsuits against Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ drug Risperdal. Now, both cases are proceeding toward new trials to determine punitive damages. A detailed article on the move appears here.
Motion to Block Denied
Judge Arnold New of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas denied Janssen’s attempt to block punitive damages in two trials against Risperdal, the drug company’s prescription antipsychotic medication. The drug’s maker argued New Jersey law—which prohibits punitive damages against pharmaceutical companies—should apply.
In separate rulings, Judge New denied requests for summary judgment. In both rulings, he added that parties in both cases “shall be prepared to discuss the issue of trial scheduling at the next case management conference.”
Judge New had previously ruled that New Jersey law applied universally to the 6,700-case Risperdal mass tort in Philadelphia. In January, however, the Superior Court gave each plaintiff the opportunity to apply their home-state law regarding punitive damages—reversing New’s decision. In both cases:
- Stange v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals: Timothy Stange won a $500,000 compensatory award in December 2015. His claim for punitive damages will follow Wisconsin law.
- Murray v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals: Nicholas Murray won a $680,000 compensatory award in November 2015. His claim for punitive damages will follow Maryland law.
Four Verdicts, One New Trial
Four out of the five Risperdal cases that have come to verdict found inadequate warning labels for the drug caused injuries to the plaintiffs, including the growth of excess breast tissue in young boys.
Janssen’s sole win to date was reversed by the Superior Court and a new trial has been ordered. With causation and compensatory damages determined, these new trials are expected to focus on whether Janssen’s conduct warrants punitive damages.
Graves McLain is Here to Help
If you or a loved one has been injured by a Dangerous Drug—including Risperdal—call Graves McLain right away at 918-359-6600 or fill out a free consultation form online. When you call one of our experienced Tulsa, Oklahoma Product Liability Attorneys, we will speak with you for FREE and determine the best course of action.
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