Releasing a medical product to the public can be very complex. Companies have to meet several federal regulations in order to prove their products are safe. Even then these companies must account for the side effects their product could cause. So, what happens when a company doesn’t follow these procedures? Ask the executive board of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals, it’s been having a pretty rough year.
What Recent Court Verdicts Mean for Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals
Earlier this year Johnson & Johnson (J&J) suffered a blow in court. It’s drug Risperdal can sometimes have the side effect of causing male patients to grow feminine breasts. This condition is call gynecomastia and the only warning it gave consumers was in a section of its labeling. It didn’t share the results of a study that found this side effect, and its sales representatives didn’t share this info with doctors. So, when a doctor prescribed the drug to a young autistic boy who later grew breasts, the doctor was stunned. The boy’s family took J&J to court, and in February, they were delivered a $2.5 million verdict.
Months later, in another pharmaceutical liability case, J&J was hit with a $1 billion verdict. The company’s DePuy metal-on-metal hip implant was found to be harmful to patients. It was causing bone erosion and tissue death in many patients, which forced J&J to take the device off the market. Several of those victims banded together in class action litigation against the company. Their efforts were successful.
These two cases by themselves may not seem like a lot, but they have big implications for J&J. The Risperdal verdict was only one of several still pending lawsuits. The verdict from the DePuy hip implant trial was the third test case in a class action suit involving over 8,400 cases. If these verdicts hold, and these other cases hold course, then J&J could be responsible for billions of dollars in damages.
Do you think J&J will be able to handle this tidal wave of pharmaceutical litigation? Do you think the victims will be successful in court? Tell us what you think about these cases by logging onto our Twitter and Facebook accounts. You can also keep up with the news from our defective medical device attorneys by following our blog.