The well-known American company that manufactures medicines and other related items, Johnson & Johnson, is asked to pay USD $8 billion in compensatory damages to a resident of Philadelphia. 26-year-old Nicholas Murray has alleged that he was not earlier informed about a side effect of an anti-psychotic medicine that could lead to growth in breasts. A jury from Philadelphia announced in favour of Murray, whose case was one of the thousands of cases that are yet to be heard. The drug in question here is Risperdal and Murray’s lawyers argued that Johnson and Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen preferred revenue figures, while marketing the medicine.
The company, in response to the ruling, said that it was absolutely inappropriate and unreasonable and that it will appeal to a higher court. Carl Tobias a professor from the Richmond School of Law explained that he expected that the large damages award would be brought down on appeal. Carl added that if the jury was in a different mode then it would award a bigger figure and allow the judges and the lawyers to decide.
The professor said that the jury’s verdict means that there are possibilities that the company could face more and even larger damages in other cases related to Risperdal. The evidence that was presented for the jury in this case, could inspire another panel of jury of another court, to announce a similar judgement. For now, the company is already facing serious complaints in the US for allegedly failing to properly warn about the side effects of the drug Risperdal.
The drug company is also facing legal issues related to vaginal mesh implants. Even baby powder is allegedly adulterated with asbestos. Such cases are apart from the ongoing legal cases regarding its role in the US drug abuse epidemic issue. The US-based pharmaceutical company was ordered to pay $572m, after a judge in Oklahoma found that it was responsible for an drug abuse epidemic and that it ran a fake and hazardous sales campaign.
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