This past Thursday, one of the strangest and most unpredictable things that has ever happened to us in court occurred during our latest Risperdal trial. In the middle of the trial’s second week, things were going smoothly for our client. We had presented our arguments holding Janssen Pharmaceuticals accountable for the damage caused by Risperdal, a drug with a documented side-effect that causes female breast growth in young men. (For more information about Risperdal, visit our information center here).
Our client was 8 years old when he first took the drug 15 years ago. Now in his early 20s, his deformities from taking the drug have put him in great emotional distress. To offer up expert testimony about the nature and extent of his breast deformity, we called upon Dr. Mark Solomon, a plastic surgeon based out of Philadelphia.
It was during his time on the stand that the trial took a turn.
As he was testifying, one of the jurors passed out where she sat. Mr. Solomon immediately stepped down from the witness stand, taking her pulse and attending to her until paramedics arrived. Mr. Solomon’s presence during her collapse was incredibly fortunate.
After the juror was taken to the hospital, lawyers for the defendants argued that the jury could no longer be impartial in weighing Mr. Solomon’s testimony against the other witnesses in the case. The court agreed, believing that the jury would give greater weight to testimony from someone who acted heroically right in front of them. The judge ultimately declared a mistrial.
“Dr. Solomon did a great thing by helping to rescue the ailing juror,” Jason Itkin said about the turn of events. “We thought the trial was going really well for our client, but when you consider that we represent more than 13,000 victims, having to start this one trial over is a minor bump in the road.”
In the end, we don’t mind starting over the trial process for the sake of the juror who collapsed. Mr. Solomon acted heroically—and we’ve no doubt that our next jury will be just as impartial as the one we’ve been presenting to for the last two weeks.