March 18th, 2016. By LucyC
Hip-Hip-Hooray! Well, sort of–though it probably doesn’t go far enough to take away all that the victims have been through. But here’s a whopper. To the tune of $502 million. That’s the verdict awarded to five plaintiffs in a bellwether trial concerning Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement devices.
The math goes $142 million in compensatory and $360 million punitive damages. The verdict was reached following 37 days of testimony in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division.
The trial consolidated cases involving five separate plaintiffs who are residents of Texas. The lawsuits, including those of more than 7,000 plaintiffs nationwide in the multidistrict litigation (MDL), claim that the DePuy implants were defective and caused metal debris to enter into patients’ bloodstreams, causing severe injuries and sometimes leading to revision surgery.
According to attorneys for the plaintiffs, the evidence in the testimony against J&J was ground breaking, particularly in relation to what, in effect, amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to orthopedic surgeons to use and recommend this product.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys also discovered several instances in which physicians lied in medical clinical testing of the devices and forged consent forms for patients who were using the product to lie about the results the patients experienced with the product.
Risperdal Settlement… Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals also got hit with a large Risperdal settlement this week—$124 million to be precise, ending nine years of litigation dealing with allegations it illegally promoted the anti-psychotic prescription drug Risperdal for unapproved or “off-label” uses. Ah, that old chestnut.
The charges were brought by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. In February he announced that Ortho-McNeil-Janssen will pay $124,324,700 in satisfaction of the settlement to South Carolina.
According to the lawsuit, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen employed aggressive marketing techniques to persuade doctors to prescribe the drug to their patients, including children with disabilities and elderly dementia patients. The company sent more than 7,000 letters to doctors, allegedly overstating the efficacy of Risperdal without FDA approval.
Risperdal (generic name Risperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic that works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain. Developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Risperdal was approved by the FDA in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. Risperdal side effects include gynecomastia (male breast growth), tardive dyskinesia, high blood sugar and diabetes, stroke, heart attack and even death. As of September 2012 more than 420 Risperdal lawsuits had been filed, 130 of which are gynecomastia claims.
Ok, that’s a wrap folks…Have a good one. See you at the Bar!
Thank You LucyC and Lawyers and Settlements
pic cred to topclassactions.com