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A Pennsylvania appeals court refuses to reconsider Risperdal damages after the punitive damage ruling that came down recently. The Pennsylvania Superior Court officially denied the defendant’s motion, asking for reconsideration of the new Risperdal damages ruling.
The new Risperdal damages ruling allows thousands of plaintiffs in Risperdal lawsuits to go after punitive damages against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson.
Opening the possibility for punitive damages could have a big impact for the many plaintiffs who have recently filed lawsuits against the drug’s makers for failing to warn about the risk of gynecomastia.
A three-judge panel in January remanded a gynecomastia lawsuit filed on behalf of an allegedly injured plaintiff back to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
The purpose of remanding that back was to order the trial court to identify whether or not punitive damages were deserving in the case. In December 2015, the plaintiff in that case had received $500,000 in compensatory Risperdal damages.
Other Pennsylvania Risperdal plaintiffs, including the one in that particular case, were initially barred from going after punitive damages because of the trial court’s ruling that applied New Jersey laws forbidding it to that claim.
Janssen and Johnson & Johnson are both headquartered in the state of New Jersey, which officially forbids punitive damages in any product liability claim involving medications that are approved at the federal level.
However, the superior court panel identified that the original trial should have included the law of the home states for the plaintiffs when evaluating whether or not punitive Risperdal damages should be allowed.
This officially opened the door for all plaintiffs in current Risperdal cases to pursue such awards.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals requested that the Pennsylvania Superior Court reconsider the ruling of the Risperdal damages, but that motion was officially denied in March, allowing the January decision approving consideration of punitive damages to stand.
In the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, there are currently more than 6,000 Risperdal lawsuits filed on behalf of boys and men who developed gynecomastia, a condition that encourages the development of breast tissue after taking Risperdal.
The plaintiffs in those cases allege that they were never told about the risk of developing gynecomastia when beginning a prescription for Risperdal itself.
Risperdal was only approved for use in children in October 2006 and the drug’s label was also updated that month to reference that gynecomastia had occurred in more than two percent of male adolescents taking the medication.
Previously, the label only described the gynecomastia condition as one that occurred in one out of every 1,000 patients.
Many of the plaintiffs who have developed gynecomastia, and have had to have reduction surgery as the only avenue to remove the access breast tissue, have come forward to file lawsuits with the help of experienced attorneys.
The lawyers at McDonald Worley have extensive experience evaluating claims in Risperdal lawsuits and can help you pursue legal action.
Disclaimer: McDonald Worley is not representing the plaintiff in this lawsuit.