Two and half years ago we posted about a favorable California Superior Court ruling in the Risperdal and Invega Product Liability Cases litigation finding plaintiffs’ claims were preempted because there was no newly acquired information on which to base a CBE label change and because the FDA had rejected the proposed label change already.  We

We’ve written about a lot of Risperdal summary judgment wins. No medical causation, no warnings causation (learned intermediaries aware of risks), no alternative design, no fraud. So, when we see an opinion that overturns a plaintiff’s verdict on the grounds of (1) impossibility preemption; (2) clear evidence preemption; and (3) no evidence of general causation,

Can you recall what you were doing back in March of this year? To be more precise the day before St. Patty’s Day and the day after the Ides. No? Well, apparently the defendants in the Risperdal and Invega Products Liability Cases pending in California state court were celebrating but they forgot to invite us

The trial judge in the second Risperdal trial denied plaintiff’s post-trial motion for a new trial, upholding the jury’s determination that plaintiffs hadn’t proven that Risperdal caused plaintiffs’ gynecomastia (male breast growth).  Cirba v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 2015 WL 4081909 (Pa. Ct. Comm. Pl. June 30, 2015).  Given the court’s summary of plaintiff’s weight and history of Risperdal use, the jury’s verdict seems pretty darn reasonable:

There was clear evidence that [plaintiff] had gained significant weight after he stopped taking the drug in 2007.  He is presently 6’1” and 272 pounds.  Since Defendant is clearly overweight, had not consumed Risperdal since 2007, had never complained of gynecomastia until 2013, and there were no photos prior to puberty to support his causation claim, the jury came to the reasonable conclusion that Risperdal did not cause his present condition.

Id. at 2.

Nonetheless, plaintiff tried to get the verdict overturned in several ways.

He argued that the court should have disallowed causation testimony by his nurse practitioner, who had prescribed him Risperdal and treated him for almost eight years, including a six-year period leading up to his first complaint of gynecomastia during which he took no Risperdal.  She testified that weight gain, not Risperdal, caused the growth in his chest.


Continue Reading Court of Common Pleas Leaves Standing Janssen’s Victory in Second Risperdal Trial

This just in:  The Louisiana Supreme Court has reversed the $300 million+ state Medicare verdict in Caldwell v. Janssen Pharmaceutica, Inc., Nos. 2012-C-2447, -2466, slip op. (La. Jan. 28, 2014).  The State Attorney General failed to prove any case under three different statutes – therefore judgment as a matter of law is appropriate.  There

Philadelphia has seen more than its share of perplexing decisions. This is where the Founders gave Delaware the same number of Senators as New York. The great painter Thomas Eakins scandalized his high-strung, high society patrons by permitting female students to paint male nude models. Bad career move. Fregosi let Mitch Williams pitch to Joe Carter. Another bad career move. Somebody here thought of pouring cheez-wiz over low-grade, high-grease meat. Oddly, a good career move. And as for John Oates’s porn stache — well, the less said the better. And, yes, there have been some judicial decisions that made us scratch our cyber noggins.

But sometimes courts here get it right. That happened a couple of weeks ago in the Commonwealth’s case against Janssen over Risperdal. The court issued a nonsuit that was a model of clear thinking. The written opinion came out on Friday, and it was well worth the wait. Commonwealth v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 2181 (Phila. Ct. Comm. Pleas June 25, 2010).

Speaking of perplexing decisions, let’s depress ourselves for a moment by remembering how the Commonwealth decided to bring cases against manufacturers of atypical antipsychotics. (We’ve blogged about that case a number of times, including here.) A Texas plaintiff firm shopped the representation to the Pennsylvania Attorney General, who politely declined. (Chalk that up to prescience). Then the Governor’s office, in an unusual move, took over the case and hired the Texas firm. It was a no-bid, contingent contract. Did we mention that the Texas firm had made significant campaign contributions to the Governor? The propriety of this smelly deal is in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the Justices will put an end to these shenanigans, which reek of conflicts of interest and pay-to-play politics. (Disclosure: Bexis wrote much of the WLF amicus brief on this issue, so it’s not as if we’re disinterested.)


Continue Reading A Typically Splendid Philadelphia Decision