Legal Intelligencer Quotes Sheller on Risperdal Suit Filings

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The Legal Intelligencer

2014-01-15

Individual suit filings related to the antipsychotic drug Risperdal have been increasing in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial District leaders say.

The uptick has been steady since actions against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries began four years ago, according to the court officials.

“We have a group of cases coming into trial in July. Right now we’re getting contacted by other attorneys referring to us. We have all the experts and documents,” Sheller said. He added that in the future, “We’ll probably have at least a thousand cases.”

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold L. New, supervising judge of the trial division’s civil section and coordinating judge of the Complex Litigation Center, said that while the number of Risperdal cases filed fluctuates from month to month, statistics indicate that a greater number of cases are being filed each year.

New said that Sheller PC has been the principal plaintiffs firm in the Risperdal cases, of which there are roughly 200 currently active.

Risperdal is an antipsychotic drug that several plaintiffs have claimed causes males to grow female breasts (gynecomastia) as well as increases the risk of pituitary tumors.

Though the number of Risperdal cases is increasing, New maintained that the Complex Litigation Center is well-equipped to handle a large load of incoming cases should the need arise.

“Risperdal has been in the system for about four years, but while there has been an increase, the mass tort system is set up to handle these cases,” New said. “If there’s a large amount we’ll be capable of dealing with it.”

Stephen Sheller, founder of the Sheller firm, said that the cases include failure-to-warn claims in which Johnson & Johnson did not sufficiently detail the risk of gynecomastia associated with the drug.

“We have a group of cases coming into trial in July. Right now we’re getting contacted by other attorneys referring to us. We have all the experts and documents,” Sheller said. He added that in the future, “We’ll probably have at least a thousand cases.”

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Risperdal Suit Filings Increase in Phila. Court

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