Last week, one of the largest verdicts in history was handed down by a jury, finding against pharmaceutical conglomerate Johnson & Johnson to the tune of $1.2 billion in liability.
A recent article by Bloomberg Businessweek details the billion-dollar lawsuit that arose after the corporation lied to doctors about a prescription medication produced by one of its subsidiary companies.
The pharmaceutical in question, Risperdal, is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, manic states associated with bipolar disorder, and irritability in persons with autism. Nevertheless, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – a division of Johnson & Johnson – neglected to tell physicians of the risks associated with the drug, even downplaying side effects in some instances, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
Johnson & Johnson is an American pharmaceutical and cosmetic manufacturer that disseminates packaged goods sold in more than 175 countries. The corporation is the largest healthcare company in the world, and has approximately 250 subsidiary companies, which include numerous household-known brand names of medications, first-aid supplies, toiletries, and beauty products.
When corporations manufacture a product, they have the responsibility for testing that product to ensure its safety before the product is put on the market and sold to consumers. This is especially true for pharmaceutical companies whose products must undergo extensive testing before they are distributed to consumers. When a company makes a product that is defective or dangerous and that product harms the person using that product, the company may be held legally responsible for the customer’s injuries. This type of situation would give rise to an Illinois product liability lawsuit.
One particular type of product liability is what’s known as a failure to warn, which can occur when a company markets a product that they know to be potentially hazardous, and fails to warn consumers of the latent danger. That’s exactly what happened here. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that attorneys on behalf of the plaintiffs contend that the company lied to doctors by saying the drug didn’t cause weight gain, diabetes and other adverse side effects. Additionally, recent testing for the medication has shown that Risperdol and other antipsychotics also increase the risk of death in patients with dementia.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers understand the dangers associated with defective medications. In fact, our attorneys brought a case against Orion Research Inc. and Baxter Health Care Corporation for a flawed test for the genetic disease cystic fibrosis. The failures of the test led a set of parents to have second child born with cystic-fibrosis. In addition to winning a substantial settlement for the family, our attorneys and the family were more concerned with the discontinuation of the test. As a result of our efforts, the test was eliminated.
If you or a loved on have taken Risperdol and have suffered injury as a result of the negative side effects, talk to your doctor about finding an alternative medication, and contact an attorney to learn whether you are entitled to compensation under the law.