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Judge Argues in Favor of Upholding $70 Million Risperdal Verdict

Last year, Attorney Jason Itkin and the pharmaceutical injury lawyers at Arnold & Itkin accomplished a landmark victory against Johnson & Johnson over their drug Risperdal. Our client suffered from physical deformity and emotional torment as a child due to the drug's underreported side effects—side effects that Janssen Pharmaceuticals hid from patients. Our client ended up winning a massive $70 million verdict —a powerful victory for him and for all children who have suffered from Risperdal.

That was nearly two years ago—but Johnson & Johnson isn't done fighting the result. They're currently taking their appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Their case argues that our result was excessive and lacked sufficient evidence to justify a verdict of that size. Out of the 6,000-case mass tort litigation in Philadelphia, ours is still the largest verdict. To date, our verdict is the largest Risperdal verdict by a factor of just under 30. It's not even close: the next largest award was $2.5 million.

The Result Has an Advocate You Would Not Expect

However, the $70 million verdict has one strong defender: the judge who presided over the case. The Honorable Paula Patrick wrote an opinion on the case last week, defending it as within the jury's ability to issue. “This court did not invalidate the jury’s verdict because the award was not unreasonable,” Patrick said. “Assessing damages in a case such as this is a difficult task. …Upon consideration of the evidence presented at trial and the damages sustained by plaintiffs, this court believes that the jury’s finding should not be disturbed.”

Judge Patrick not only disagrees with Johnson & Johnson's characterization of our verdict, but she urges the Superior Court to leave the verdict completely unchanged. Our evidence convinced the jury of the truth—their judgment should not be undone.

We're confident that the Superior Court will side with our client. Johnson & Johnson has appealed the awards so far, but the higher court has yet to rule in favor of the multibillion-dollar company. In a statement to the press, Jason Itkin said, "My clients were fortunate to have the opportunity to have their case tried in a courtroom. Even after the jury rendered its verdict, J&J still has not taken responsibility for what it did to AY. We hope that Judge Patrick’s well-reasoned, lengthy opinion brings AY one step closer to achieving justice."


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