The fifth Risperdal case to go to trial was a game changer for Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson (J&J). The companies previously escaped large payouts in Risperdal trials, but the fifth trial resulted in a massive $70 million plaintiff win. To top it off, the judge added an additional $6 million in delay damages two months later. Whether the companies feared another massive plaintiff’s verdict or didn’t have the legal manpower to take on another case amongst the baby powder and hip implant trials, J&J agreed to settle a Risperdal case set to go to trial just days before it was set to begin.
Last week, both sides agreed to settle the case for an undisclosed amount. The case, scheduled to begin this past Monday, would have been the sixth to go to trial in the Risperdal Philadelphia mass tort program. However, the companies have made it very clear this is a one-off deal. The companies still intend on fighting other Risperdal lawsuits and there are no global settlement talks in the works.
This isn’t the first time the companies have settled cases shortly before go to trial, and the companies are likely trying to choose their battles carefully.
Throughout numerous Risperdal trials, the companies have maintained they have done nothing wrong, but this strategy doesn’t seem to be working anymore. The next Risperdal trial in the Philadelphia mass tort program is scheduled to go to trial this December. Janssen and J&J will have to decide if the next case is worth fighting or if the companies should throw in the towel. Whatever they decide, the companies will still have an additional 13,000 Risperdal lawsuits to resolve, and plaintiffs are willing to wait as long as it takes to see the companies held responsible.