At last count, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is home to more than 7,000 personal injury cases over Janssen's prescription anti-psychotic medication, Risperdal. Male plaintiffs in these cases claim that their use of the drug caused the development of gynecomastia (irreversible breast growth).
Two Pennsylvania appeals court rulings have reinstated cases for trial after unfavorable rulings for the plaintiffs in the in the trial court. The first case, T.M. v. Janssen, which went to trial in 2016, ended mid-trial when the court dismissed the matter altogether, finding that the plaintiff's proof of medical causation was insufficient. The plaintiff appealed, and in an opinion issued just last month, the Pennsylvania Superior disagreed and reversed the lower court, sending the case back for a new trial. In the second case, Pledger v. Janssen, the 2016 trial had resulted in a $2.5 million pain and suffering verdict in the plaintiff's favor, but Janssen appealed to the Superior Court. The Superior Court not only affirmed the verdict but reversed the trial court's ruling that the plaintiff could not seek punitive damages. Janssen sought further appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court--presumably the last stop for the punitive damages issue--and earlier this month, the Pennsylvania High Court declined to take up the case. Both of these cases now go back to the lower court for further trial proceedings.