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- Arnold & Itkin

One Year Out: Looking Back on Our Historic Risperdal Verdict

In July 2016, Arnold & Itkin won a historic victory against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and parent company Johnson & Johnson in a Risperdal case. Our team achieved a massive $70 million verdict against the global giant on behalf of our client, who developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal as a 13-year-old. Our case unearthed a study that showed a link between abnormal breast growth and the use of risperdone—a link that Johnson & Johnson subsequently hid. Their deception was key to our victory.

Our trial was the fourth against Johnson & Johnson over Risperdal side effects—but our verdict was by far the largest. In the report by Lawyers & Settlements, they note that what made the verdict noteworthy was the significant legal hurdles we overcame to win it. Our client, for instance, was from Tennessee. His case fell under Tennessee caps on damages (which caps awards at $750,000).

However, because we were able to prove misrepresentation or fraud (instead of simply negligence), those caps didn’t apply—and the jury was free to compensate our client for the severe and lasting damage he suffered as an adolescent.

One Year Later--& Nearly 21,000 Cases Pending

When the verdict went public, legal news reporters speculated that it could set the tone for subsequent cases. A $70 million precedent is not easily ignored, and financial news reporters commented that it would be a tough year for Johnson & Johnson. In fact, six of the biggest judgments in 2016 were against Johnson & Johnson products. The litigation may begin to affect their earnings and growth.

At the end of 2016, the pharmaceutical manufacturer recorded 18,500 pending or current Risperdal cases (according to their February annual report). However, around 3,000 new cases were added between January and March alone—bringing the total to 20,000+ Risperdal cases alone. Bloomberg reports that the total litigation against Johnson & Johnson exceeds 100,000 cases.

However, to put these cases into perspective—Janssen Pharmaceuticals sold $800 million worth of Risperdal in 2016 alone, and the company has roughly $42 billion in cash on hand. In addition, few verdicts have been able to achieve (or maintain post-appeal) the high award bar our firm set a year ago—it’s still an anomaly. Johnson & Johnson has yet to feel the sting of the litigation to come, even as they continue to make money on the product they’re being sued for.

Ultimately, we fervently hope that future cases receive every penny the plaintiffs deserve. J&J deserves to pay for the medical care and emotional suffering incurred by their product—especially as their deception helped the problem persist without warning patients.

For more information about Risperdal, visit the following pages on our site:

Call (888) 493-1629 or contact us with our simple online form if you’ve suffered from the effects of Risperdal without being warned of the side effects. We’re happy to consult your case for free in an initial appointment.