Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals are seeking to eliminate some Risperdal gynecomastia claims from a mass tort litigation underway in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. According to a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment filed with the Court on May 20, 2014, the companies believe that the claims in question are time-barred by their statute of limitations.
In the Motion, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen contend that plaintiffs should have been aware of the Risperdal gynecomastia risk by October 31, 2006. As such, the motion asserts that plaintiffs allegedly injured prior to October 31, 2006, should have their Risperdal lawsuits dismissed if they did not file their cases by that date. The motion also argues that tolling of the statute of limitations should start at the date of the alleged injury in cases where the injury occurred after October 31, 2006.
Johnson & Johnson and Janssen further assert in the Motion that hundreds of Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits currently pending against the company were filed years after the plaintiffs were aware of problems with the drug, and even long after they were aware of their own injuries.
Court documents indicate that more than 500 Risperdal lawsuit claims are now pending in Philadelphia, all of which allege use of the antipsychotic medication caused plaintiffs to suffer gynecomastia and other side effects. An initial set Risperdal gynecomastia claims were set to go to trial beginning in September 2012, but those cases were settled just before the first trial was to commence for an undisclosed amount. Four additional cases were resolved later that month.
A new set of Risperdal gynecomastia trials are supposed to begin in July. In the meantime, court documents indicate that some 80 such claims have been resolved in recent months.
Last month, Judge Arnold New, who is overseeing the Risperdal litigation in Pennsylvania, ruled that plaintiffs in gynecomastia claims would not be able to pursue punitive damages, which are monetary penalties awarded when defendants are found to have engaged in improper conduct. Judge New ruled that because Janssen is headquartered in New Jersey, that state’s Products Liability Act would apply to the cases. That law precludes punitive damages in drug injury lawsuits that involve medications approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
Bernstein Liebhard LLP represents a number of Risperdal gynecomastia plaintiffs in Pennsylvania, and continues to offer free legal reviews to men and boys who may have experienced breast growth due to the drug. To learn more about your legal rights, please call .