Judge Sean Kennedy ruled from the bench Tuesday that the plaintiff’s expert testimony was inadequate to prove causation and dismissed the case just 11 days into the trial.
The lawsuit was the sixth to go to trial out of a mass tort program established in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in 2010. It is also the first to be tried since a massive $70 million verdict was handed down in favor of plaintiffs in July.
The expert, Dr. Mark P. Solomon, has testified in almost all of the Risperdal cases tried so far, but this is the first case being overseen by Judge Kennedy, the Intelligencer reported.
The judge reportedly came to his decision after researching the issues and re-reading Dr. Solomon’s testimony.
“At the conclusion of my research and my staff’s research, it is my opinion that under Texas law, Dr. Solomon’s testimony is legally insufficient to prove causation in this case, and as such, I am granting defendant’s motion for compulsory nonsuit,” said Judge Kennedy, according to court transcripts cited by the Intelligencer.
The same law firm who tried the Risperdal lawsuit that ended with a $70 million verdict tried this suit, as well. Attorneys for plaintiffs reportedly called the ruling “totally unexpected” and said it came just days after “damaging testimony” came out during cross examination about now-president of Johnson & Johnson Alex Gorsky.
According to transcripts referenced by the Intelligencer, attorneys questioned a Janssen executive about a $500,000 donation that Gorsky signed off on to create a research center at Massachusetts General Hospital that would “generate and disseminate data supporting” the use of Risperdal in kids, before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for use in this population.
Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication used to treat mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The drug was approved for use in kids in 2006, but has been linked to an emotionally distressing condition called gynecomastia. The condition occurs when male breast tissue grows abnormally large and often requires surgery to correct.
Risperdal lawsuits allege the drug’s maker, Johnson & Johnson division Janssen Pharmaceuticals, failed to warn consumers and physicians about the drug’s potential risks.
The plaintiff in the recently dismissed case reportedly began taking Risperdal in 2004 when he was just 7 years old for symptoms of ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation. He took the drug for about three years before stopping in 2010 at the age of 10.
Risperdal Lawsuits are continuing to be filed by those who took the antipsychotic drug and were later diagnosed with gynecomastia.
In addition to the more than 2,000 lawsuits currently pending in the mass tort program in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas, lawsuits are being filed in courts throughout the country.
Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, has already begun settling some of the Risperdal cases in the Philadelphia litigation for undisclosed amounts of money.
If you or someone you love was harmed after taking Risperdal, you may be entitled to financial compensation. In light of the recent verdicts and settlements, it is imperative you file your Risperdal Lawsuit as soon as possible.
The attorneys at Hood National Law Group have been fighting for the rights of consumers against the pharmaceutical industry and can help you get the justice you deserve. Call Hood National today to speak with a member of our legal team and see if your case qualifies for a Risperdal Lawsuit. Call 1-800-214-1010 or use the form on the right-hand side of your screen. The consultation is free and there is no obligation.