The short answer is “no.” We are just borrowing a line from one of the original gangster movies, “Little Caesar,” which readers other than McConnell would most likely know from references in “The Sopranos,” if they know it at all. (Or from here.) The titular character in that flick was known as “Rico.” RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act), on the other hand, was an anti-gangster law, enacted in 1970 as part of the Organized Crime Control Act. In a number of posts (like here), we have decried the gangster tactics used by plaintiffs—particularly quasi-public plaintiffs—to use the threat of RICO’s treble damages and cost-shifting provisions to extort settlements from drug and device manufacturers. Particularly for prescription medical products, RICO seems like an inappropriate vehicle for addressing alleged harms allegedly caused by such standard product liability allegations as inadequate disclosure of risks or off-label promotion. A small blow to curtail the expansion of RICO was struck in Short v. Janssen Pharms., Inc., No. 1:14-CV-1025, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61123 (W.D. Mich. May 11, 2015).
Short is yet another case stemming from pediatric use of Risperdal. We have posted many times on various Risperdal cases with various theories of recovery, usually tied to the idea that the drug was improperly promoted for off-label use without disclosing the true risk of gynecomastia and other prolactin disorders, like here, here, here and here. In Short, the plaintiff allegedly took Risperdal as a minor, developed gynecomastia, and sued in his own behalf under RICO and state consumer protection and product liability acts. His problems were that he never paid a cent for the drug and that he was from Michigan. We suspect the latter may be why RICO was at issue at all.