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Number of Pending Risperdal Lawsuits Grows to 18,500 Cases

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New Brunswick, NJThere are now 18,500 Risperdal lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson (J & J) and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals in the US and Canada, according to Johnson & Johnson's most recent annual report.

J & J's latest annual report for the fiscal year ended Jan 1, 2017, which the company filed on Feb. 27, stated that Johnson & Johnson and certain of its subsidiaries are involved in numerous product liability claims and lawsuits involving multiple products.

Of J & J's and Janssen Pharmaceutical's most significant litigation totals, 18,500 cases involve the medication Risperdal, which is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability associated with autism.

Large numbers of lawsuits against J & J and Janssen claim that the anti-psychotic medication Risperdal can cause breast growth in boys, a condition known as gynecomastia. Risperdal lawsuits have been filed primarily in state courts in Pennsylvania, California and Missouri but other actions are also pending in various courts in the US and Canada.

J & J and Janssen Pharmaceuticals have recently been hit hard on Risperdal lawsuit judgments and settlements.

In January 2017, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Risperdal, settled a lawsuit Zachary Sabol et al v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Case No. 130402100, Court of Common Pleas of Philadephia County, PA just three days before what would have been the seventh trial involving the powerful antipsychotic drug in the past two years. The settlement terms remain confidential.

In July 2016, a jury awarded a $70 million judgment in favor of the plaintiff, an adolescent boy who alleged in the lawsuit Yount v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Case No. 130402094, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, PA that he grew male "breasts" after taking Risperdal.

According to J & J's annual report, Johnson & Johnson and its various subsidiaries also face thousands of lawsuits involving DePuy and Pinnacle hip implants, Johnson's Baby Powder, the medication Xarelto and more than 54,000 pelvic mesh lawsuits.

As of January 1, 2017, J & J determined that liabilities associated with certain litigation matters are "probable and can be reasonably estimated," according to its annual report, which also assures shareholders that litigation on the thousands of pending lawsuits isn't likely to negatively affect J & J's profits:

"In the company's opinion, based on its examination of these matters, its experience to date and discussions with counsel, the ultimate outcome of legal proceedings, net of liabilities accrued in the company's balance sheet, is not expected to have a material adverse effect on the company's financial position." 

At the same time, J & J acknowledged in its annual report that the number of product liability lawsuits is growing:

"The number of pending product liability lawsuits continues to increase, and the company continues to receive information with respect to potential costs and the anticipated number of cases."


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