$2.2B Settlement “Leads the Pack”
by Lizzy McLellan, The Legal Intelligencer
The Legal Intelligencer reported that the largest verdict and settlement award in Pennsylvania between August 2013 and August 2014 was handled by Sheller, P.C. with a $2.2 billion settlement over healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals. J&J paid the federal government more than $2 billion in a civil settlement and criminal fines to settle charges that they illegally marketed the blockbuster antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
It was also the largest civil criminal settlement in the history of the qui tam False Claims Act for a single drug.
The Legal Intelligencer reviewed the verdicts and settlement data reported in Legal sibling publication PaLaw and found the average dollar amount for the top 50 cases in 2013-2014 was about $67.7 million, compared to just less than $40 million the year before.
The $2.2 billion settlement against J&J was nearly twice the size of the top award in the prior year.
“I call this the second wave of the whistleblower cases,” said Stephen A. Sheller, who handles whistleblower cases and represented plaintiffs in two of this year’s top 50 cases. “What’s happened is there are just many more of them because more lawyers are looking out for them.”