When a Philadelphia jury awarded a Tennessee man and his family a whopping $70 million in damages after the antipsychotic medication Risperdal caused him to grow breasts, thousands of other plaintiffs assumed the case would hold an important precedent for the Risperdal litigation. While it does set an important precedent, the fight to hold Risperdal manufacturers responsible is far from over.

While previous Risperdal verdicts have also favored for the plaintiff, no Risperdal award to date has included punitive damages. The reason for this is a bit of a legal loophole plaintiffs’ attorneys have been fighting for several years now. Under Pennsylvania laws, judges and juries must apply the laws of the defendant’s home state. In this case, Janssen Pharmaceuticals is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), which is headquartered in New Jersey. Unfortunately for plaintiffs, New Jersey law prohibits punitive damages.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed an appeal arguing that the applicable law should be that of the plaintiff’s home state rather than the defendant’s, and they continue to fiercely advocate for punitive damages.

In 2013, the companies paid $2.2 billion to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle criminal and civil claims of illegally marketing Risperdal for use in the elderly and children. Since the settlement, the companies have been haunted by their wrongdoing. Former FDA Commissioner David Kessler even testified in the Risperdal trials that J&J and Janssen manipulated data shown to the FDA to obscure evidence of a link between Risperdal and gynecomastia.

With so many fingers pointing at J&J and Janssen for wrongdoing, it’s only a matter of time before punitive damages will be allowed against the companies in the Risperdal litigation. Plaintiffs and their attorneys have made it clear they won’t stop fighting until J&J and Janssen have been held responsible for their actions.