The Arkansas Attorney General informed the state’s Code Revision Commission that he will ask the Arkansas Supreme Court to reconsider its recent decision to overturn a $1.2 billion verdict awarded to the state in a Risperdal lawsuit nearly two years ago. According to a report from the Associated Press, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel also asked the Commission to prepare an analysis of the state’s Medicaid Fraud law to aid in his efforts.
Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit were ordered to pay the $1.2 billion fine in 2012, after a jury agreed with the state that the companies had improperly marketed Risperdal and concealed its serious side effects. However, in a decision issued last month, the Arkansas Supreme Court threw out the verdict, after finding that the state had wrongly applied Arkansas’ Medicaid Fraud law when it filed suit against the companies. According to the Court’s majority opinion, the law only applies to health care facilities, and not large drug companies.
McDaniel wants the Arkansas Code Revision Commission, which is responsible for making technical corrections to state statutes, to compare the law as it was passed to the way it was written into state code, the Associated Press said.
“It’s obviously of great concern to us and it’s of great concern to the Legislature and to the code revision commission that the Supreme Court has taken this unprecedented approach to analyzing the case,” McDaniel said.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen continue to face more than 350 Risperdal lawsuits in a mass tort litigation now underway in Pennsylvania State Court in Philadelphia. All of these lawsuits claim the antipsychotic drug caused serious side effects, including gynecomastia (male breast development). Among other things, the defendants are accused of improperly marketing the use of Risperdal in children, and concealing its serious side effects.
Recent court filings indicate that settlements have been reached in at least 80 Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits pending in the proceeding. However, additional claims remain unresolved and trials of some cases are scheduled for later this year.
The Risperdal lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are already representing plaintiffs who allegedly developed gynecomastia due to this medication. To learn more, please contact our office today for a free case review by calling .