A plaintiff in a Risperdal lawsuit was able to reach a settlement with the manufacturers of the drug late last month, just hours before his case was schedule for trial in Pennsylvania. Days earlier, Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit had also confirmed a settlement in a Risperdal marketing case filed by the state of Arkansas.
The Pennsylvania lawsuit was one of hundreds pending in a Pennsylvania mass tort litigation currently underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and had been chosen for the proceeding’s third bellwether trial. The plaintiff was alleged to have developed gynecomastia (male breast growth) due to his use of the antipsychotic medication. The trial was scheduled to begin on May 27th, but the case was resolved just before opening statements were to begin. The details of the settlement are confidential.
Two Risperdal gynecomastia claims have gone to trial in Pennsylvania this year. The first ended in February, after the plaintiff was awarded $2.5 million. The second concluded in March, and can be seen as a partial victory for the plaintiff, in that the jury agreed that Johnson & Johnson and Janssen had not provided adequate warnings regarding the drug’s association with male breast growth. But because jurors were unable to conclude that Risperdal was the cause of his gynecomastia, the plaintiff was not awarded any damages.
The Arkansas Risperdal settlement was reported by Bloomberg News on May 21st. The accord resolves an 8-year-old state case that accused Johnson & Johnson and Janssen of misleading doctors and patients about Risperdal’s effectiveness and downplaying its diabetes risk. The $7.8 million settlement represents less than 1 percent of the $1.2 billion fine imposed by an Arkansas judge in 2012, when the case first went to trial. Last year, the Arkansas Supreme Court threw out the verdict after finding that state attorneys sued under the wrong law.
In reaching the settlement agreement, Johnson & Johnson did not admit to any liability.