Jury May Decide Risperdal Time Bar

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Two cases in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could result in 40% of the over 7,000 Risperdal cases being time barred from moving forward. The Pennsylvania docket for Risperdal cases has grown significantly in the last few years.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is being asked to reconsider two lower court rulings that began the statute of limitations for bringing a case against Janssen either in August 2009 when news about the link between Risperdal and gynecomastia began making nationwide news, or in 2006 after the FDA required the Risperdal label to carry a black box warning of the side effect.

Plaintiffs in the cases of Saksek v. Janssen and Winter v. Janssen argue that they were not aware of the link between Risperdal and gynecomastia until their mothers saw attorney advertisements on TV. Furthermore, both plaintiffs were taking a generic version of the drug in 2006 when the black box warning was added to the Risperdal label, which is typically more to warn doctors of the side effects than patients. They were lead to believe the breast growth was caused by weight gain.

Attorneys at Dechert, the firm representing Janssen Pharmaceuticals the makers of Risperdal, are asking the high court to determine whether the plaintiffs filed their injury claim in a timely manner. Janssen claims courts have already determined a strict cut-off date in which plaintiffs injured by the drug must have filed their claims.

Plaintiffs are asking for the courts to bring the question in front of a jury to decide. The decision will not only effect Saksek and Winter, but also thousands of Risperdal mass tort cases pending in the Philadelphia.

In other Risperdal litigation news, Johnson & Johnson settled Stange v. Janssen. Stange, the first Risperdal case to go to trial, was awarded a $500,000 jury verdict which excluded punitive damages. Upon appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania his case was remanded back to trial for punitive damages. J&J settled the case before the trial began. No further details are made public.

Risperdal, UPMC and Insurance Litigation Highlight Upcoming SCOPA Arguments, law.com, May 8, 2019

Statute of Limitations That Could End 40% of Pa. Risperdal Cases Is Weighed by High Court, The Legal Intelligencer, May 16, 2019

One of the key Risperdal cases in Philadelphia just settled under the threat of punitive damages, Penn Record, May 7, 2019

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