Recently, Arnold & Itkin tried a case in which a young man had grown female breasts after taking Risperdal as a child. We were able to secure a $70 million verdict in a unanimous jury decision—the largest single verdict awarded among all Risperdal cases. Previously on our blog, we reported on this victory and why it mattered—particularly how the defendant’s lawyers denied any culpability in our client’s harm.
The Legal Intelligencer recently reported on the verdict, as it provides an edge to every plaintiff in the thousands of Risperdal cases yet to be tried (1,750 in Philadelphia, about 300 in Los Angeles). They interviewed our own Jason Itkin, who led the charge against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson.
The Significance of This Case
In the interview, Jason talks about what made our case different from other Risperdal cases. For one, our client suffered from a conduct disorder—in contrast, most plaintiffs in these cases took Risperdal for autism. The defendant attempted to present the client as a “bad kid,” pinning blame on him for his condition.
Jason believes this tactical blunder backfired on Janssen, who were facing a particularly intelligent and perceptive jury. The author of the article notes that such a large verdict (over 20 times the size of the last four verdicts combined) indicates the jury’s willingness to bring harsher judgements against pharmaceutical companies.
One of the most significant results of the trial, aside from the verdict, was evidence that confirms the link between gynecomastia and Risperdal. Titled “Tab Four,” the evidence was discovered through cross-examination, as it was never turned over to the FDA or publicized. As Jason says in the article, “When a jury finds a drug company’s withholding key scientific information, that’s a big deal.”
Visit the Legal Intelligencer site to check out the rest of the article.