New York 3/28/2014 11:29:47 PM
News / Law

Plaintiffs In Risperdal Suits Ask Judge to Reject Drug Company’s Bid to Dodge Punitive Damages, Reports is reporting that plaintiffs in Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits have asked the Honorable Judge Arnold New to reject Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc.’s bid to dismiss plaintiffs’ request for punitive damages. In February, Janssen submitted a motion for summary judgment aimed at dismissing punitive damages claims for nearly 400 plaintiffs whose lawsuits are still pending in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The drug manufacturer argued that a statute of limitations under New Jersey law applied to these cases because decisions regarding the marketing and distribution of Risperdal were made at Janssen’s headquarters in New Jersey. In their opposition to this motion, the plaintiffs argued that punitive damages should be determined based on Pennsylvania law or the state laws of each individual plaintiff.

According to the Risperdal lawsuits, Janssen failed to adequately warn the public that young boys and adolescents who use the antipsychotic drug may be at risk for developing abnormal breast tissue, a condition known as gynecomastia. The plaintiffs in at least 80 Risperdal lawsuits that Janssen previously settled were eligible to collect punitive damages, which are designed to punish the defendant and deter other pharmaceutical companies from engaging in similar conduct; however, Janssen’s motion for summary judgment would seek to prevent the remaining 375 plaintiffs from receiving punitive damages.

In February, Janssen argued that the New Jersey Product Liability Act, which bars punitive damages for claims related to drugs that were subject to premarket approval by the FDA, should apply to the remaining lawsuits. According to the company, New Jersey law applies because many decisions regarding the marketing and distribution of Risperdal were made at the company’s headquarters in New Jersey.

This argument contradicts Janssen’s previous stance in a series of bellwether trials that took place in 2012, where the company “argued that the law of the state where Risperdal was prescribed, ingested and marketed governs the issue of punitive damages,” according to the plaintiffs. If the court decides to reject this approach, the plaintiffs asked the court to apply Pennsylvania law when determining the eligibility for punitive damages in the remaining cases. According to court documents filed by the plaintiffs’ attorneys, Pennsylvania law was suiting for these cases because Janssen made critical decisions regarding Risperdal at meetings throughout the state in the 1990’s and 2000’s.

If you or a loved one suffered from gynecomastia after using Risperdal, there is still time to join this growing litigation. If you have questions about your legal rights or would like help filing a lawsuit, visit today and fill out our free case review form.


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