The PA Supreme Court has agreed to review a Superior Court decision which would dismiss thousands of Risperdal cases due to statute of limitations. The two cases on appeal, Saksek v. Janssen and Winter v. Janssen, were dismissed for failing to bring a claim with in the applicable two year statue of limitations. The Supreme Court’s decision would affect thousands of cases– approximately 40% of the 6,700 pending cases.
In October 2006 Risperdal’s label was changed to reflect the link between the drug and gynecomastia. According to the Superior Court’s three judge-panel ruling: “Accordingly, by that date, ‘reasonable minds would not differ in finding that,’ appellants knew, or should have known, of their injuries and the cause of those injuries by this point.”
Plantiff’s lawyers argue that the order fails to consider whether the plaintiff actually knew he had gynecomastia or the conditions link to the Risperdal.
Although the alleged connection between gynecomastia and Risperdal had been in medical journals, print media, and on television, it is not clear that the plantiff’s would have seen any of these sources or have had a general awareness of the injury. Because of this, the statute of limitations issue should be considered in each case on an individual basis.
“They’re supposed to have the ability to have information that most physicians, most doctors and most people would have no idea about? We say that has to be developed on an individual case-by-case basis. Particularly when the kids often have disabilities.” – Stephen Sheller, Sheller PC
Pa. Supreme Court to Review Risperdal Statute of Limitations That May Threaten Thousands of Cases, The Legal Intelligencer, July 10, 2018