A man was awarded $8 billion in damages – one of the largest verdicts of its kind in Pennsylvania – for injuries he sustained after using the popular antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The Legal Intelligencer recently wrote an article on the historic case and contacted Rick Jurewicz, a senior partner at our firm and a prominent voice in the field of products liability, for his insight into the groundbreaking litigation.
A man developed an excessive amount of breast tissue after taking Risperdal, a commonly prescribed antipsychotic medication. In his suit the plaintiff claimed that Johnson & Johnson, along with its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, failed to warn men using Risperdal that they could grow breasts – and a Philadelphia jury agreed. In a 10-2 vote the jury ordered that J & J pay $8 billion in punitive damages to the plaintiff.
Many products liability attorneys view the verdict as a major win for injured consumers, but are expecting its amount to be reduced.
According to Rick, who handles catastrophic products liability claims and has more than 38 multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements, the Risperdal verdict is “staggering” and “a great victory for the plaintiffs’ bar.” He likened the recent case to the RoundUp litigation that resulted in a $2 billion decision in punitive damages, but was later reduced to $86 million. As Rick was quoted in The Legal Intelligencer article:
I do sense that, as much as the plaintiffs have a right to benefit from the wisdom of the jury and their collective judgment…I think the trial court may be inclined to try and remit the amount of the punitive damages.
Not only is Rick a leading voice in the products liability field, but he has also been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since 2004. And, Rick received the “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating an attorney can receive.
If you were injured or became ill from an unsafe or defective product, please contact the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact firm.