Monday, 14 October, 2019

Jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $8B in Risperdal suit

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Samantha Long | 09 October, 2019, 23:22

Mr Murray, 26, developed breasts after doctors put him on anti-psychotic drug Risperdal as a teenager to treat autism spectrum disorder.

In New Zealand the drug is called Risperidone.

The mountain of suits generally allege that the company was aware of that specific risk, but understated it to doctors, according to the report.

In 2015, a Philadelphia jury awarded Mr. Murray $1.75 million in damages, which a judge reduced to $680,000, but the judge had barred the jury from awarding punitive damages at that time. Murray's lawyers are representing thousands of other people with similar claims against Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson used an organized scheme to make billions of dollars while illegally marketing and promoting the drug, attorneys Tom Kline and Jason Itkin said in a statement.

Johnson & Johnson said the $8bn award was "grossly disproportionate with the initial compensatory award in this case" and "a clear violation of due process".

'A jury, if it's outrageous enough conduct, will award a big number and let the lawyers and judges work it out, ' he said.

More than 100 dead in anti-govt. protests in Iraq
Demonstrators protesting unemployment and corruption since Tuesday have been fired upon with live gunfire by government forces. The scale of the unrest appeared to take authorities by surprise. "Many people are calling for new elections to take place".

Plaintiffs claim that J&J failed to warn of the risk of gynecomastia, the development of enlarged breasts in males, associated with Risperdal, which they say the company marketed for unapproved uses with children.

Last year, a St. Louis found J&J should pay $4.69 billion in damages to 22 women and their families who blamed ovarian-cancer cases on use of the company's baby powder.

Johnson and Johnson immediately denounced the award after the jury's decision in the Court of Common pleas, saying it's "excessive and unfounded" and vowing immediate action to overturn it.

Risperdal, approved for the treatment of adults by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1993, brought in some $737 million (672 million euros) in sales in 2018.

They are also appealing a ruling made a year ago that required the drug company to $4.7bn to 22 U.S. women who alleged that the company's talcum powder led them to develop ovarian cancer as a result of asbestos contamination.

In the statement, Johnson & Johnson accused the court of preventing their defence team from presenting "key evidence" on Risperdal labelling.

"United States Supreme Court precedent dictates that punitive damages awards that are a double-digit multiplier of the compensatory award should be set aside".

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