Johnson & Johnson, Risperdal Maker Hit With $8 Billion Verdict

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"This award is grossly disproportionate with the initial compensatory award in this case, and the Company is confident it will be overturned", J&J said in a statement. The settlement, which also includes marketing claims about two other J&J drugs, was one of the largest USA health-fraud penalties in history. "Johnson & Johnson and (subsidiary) Janssen chose billions over children". In May, a California jury awarded a couple $2.055 billion in compensatory and punitive damages over claims they got cancer from exposure to Bayer AG's Roundup weed-killer.

But he was later taken off it when he realised his breasts were growing, something his lawyers claim was caused by the drug causing a hormone imbalance.

Johnson & Johnson did not list the rare condition, known as gynecomastia, as one of Risperdal's potential side effects before pulling the controversy-laden drug from the market in 2014.

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

The lawsuit claimed that J&J knew about the risk of gynecomastia and allegedly failed to properly warn doctors and healthcare providers about it.

Professor Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond School of Law told Reuters that he expects the punitive damages to be lowered on appeal.

Another judge later ruled that a jury could award those damages.

The ruling marks another costly setback for Johnson & Johnson.

An Oklahoma judge in August ordered J&J to pay $572.1 million to that state for its part in fueling the opioid crisis by deceptively marketing addictive painkillers, a sum that was substantially less than investors had expected.

The department also alleged that Janssen promoted the drug for use in children and people with mental disabilities, despite knowing the health risks.

J&J has denied the allegations and is seeking to appeal the baby-powder and opioid decisions. It recently agreed to a $20.4m settlement with two counties in the USA state of OH over claims it fuelled the crisis there. The company did not admit it helped cause the epidemic.

A jury in Philadelphia made the award to 26-year-old Nicholas Murray, whose case was the first of thousands pending in the state.

The case, brought by Nicholas Murray, is one of 13,400 Risperdal-related lawsuits, according to J&J's latest SEC filings.



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