Risperdal Plaintiff Demands New Trial
Dean Hibbs asked a Pennsylvania judge to reinstate his Risperdal lawsuit against drug maker Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. after a rather bizzare episode led to a mistrial declaration.
As one of the plaintiff’s medical experts was testifying in court, a juror had an emergency medical episode and the doctor stopped his testimony to help the stricken juror. Judge Kenneth Powell ruled that the jurors could not consider the expert’s testimony in an unbiased manner and ordered it stricken from the record. Without this testimony, Janssen’s lawyers argued, Mr. Hibbs failed to meet his burden of proof as a matter of law, and so Judge Powell threw out the case. In his response, Mr. Hibbs argued that he had presented sufficient evidence for a reasonable juror to conclude that there was a Risperdal/gynecomastia link, and that in any case, the mistrial was improper because the judge ordered it “without conducting voir dire of the jury to determine whether they were in fact prejudiced.”
Nationwide, Janssen is facing almost 6,000 Risperdal lawsuits.
Compensatory Damages in Risperdal Lawsuits
Risperidone is an antipsychotic drug that stimuates production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which affects the brain’s pleasure and rewards areas, as well as the part of the brain which regulates some emotional responses. So, it is effective in treating many schizophrenic and bipolar patients.
While it maipulates dopamine levels, this powerful drug may also manipulate prolactin levels. The pituitary gland produces this hormone, which increases breast tissue and breast milk production. Under normal circumstances, only women in late-stage pregnancy have high prolactin levels.
Physically, gyenecomastia is usually a permanent condition. Emotionally and psychologically, the effects are even worse, particularly among young men and boys. Victims can file Risperdal lawsuits to recover compensation for both their economic damages, such as medial bills, and their noneconomic damages, including emotional distress.
Kentucky dangerous drug victims are entitled to additional punitive damages if there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant intentionally disregarded a known risk.
Thirty-nine studies have linked Risperdal to gynecomastia and other serious side effects, including ketoacidosis (dangerously high blood sugar among diabetics). In 2006, finally Janssen admitted that there was a “slight” possibility for serious side effects, but based on the evidence, Janssen may have knew that the risk was significantly higher but concealed that elevated risk to prop up sales.
The tactic may have worked, at least as far as Janssen and its shareholders are concerned, as Risperdal sales now exceed $30 billion, earning Janssen CEO Alex Gorsky a $25 million annual salary and a promotion to CEO of parent company Johnson & Johnson.
Risperdal lawsuit plaintiffs are often entitled to significant damages. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Franklin, contact Attorney Gary S. Logsdon. Home an hospital visits are available.