Jury reaches $258M verdict in Risperdal case

John O'Brien Oct. 19, 2010, 9:45am


A Louisiana jury has ordered Janssen Pharmaceutica to pay $258 million in a lawsuit brought by former state Attorney General Charles Foti and continued by his successor, Buddy Caldwell.

The lawsuit alleged Janssen misrepresented weight gain-related side effects associated with the prescription antipsychotic drug Risperdal. A jury in Opelousas imposed a penalty of $7,250 for 35,542 alleged violations of state law, and Janssen has already stated it will appeal.

Caldwell's office was represented by private attorneys. So far, it is unknown how much those attorneys will stand to make if the verdict is affirmed.

Louisiana is one of two states that doesn't allow its attorney general to hire private attorneys on a contingency fee. A bill that would have changed that did not make it through the state Legislature this year.

"This verdict sends a loud message to those who knowingly try to defraud the system," Caldwell said. "Those who deceive the state must pay."

Read the full story at Legal Newsline.

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