Last week, a Philadelphia judge presiding over a Risperdal trial threatened defendant Janssen Pharmaceuticals with sanctions if Janssen did not within a matter of days provide documents the plaintiff’s attorneys believe crucial to the case. The judge ordered Janssen to produce, by yesterday, a Sunday no less, all documents and evidence relating to “reanalysis” of a key medical report in the litigation.
Although the order didn’t specify to what the “reanalysis” pertains, the Legal Intelligencer reports that attorney Thomas R. Kline of Kline and Specter stated that the order relates to a 2003 Journal of Clinical Psychiatry article, referred to in the litigation as “the Findling Article.” This article has become a source of contention in this and other Risperdal trials. The Findling Article contained results and tables linking Risperdone, the active ingredient in the drug Risperdal, to gynecomastia. Gynecomastia causes the release of prolactin, which in turn leads, among other things, to excessive breast tissue in young males.
Risperdal plaintiffs in lawsuits against Johnson & Johnsonas well as Janssen have asserted that Risperdal manufacturers scrubbed findings about the links between Risperdal, gynecomastia, and the secretion of prolacitin from their marketing and other reports. Instead, Risperdal attorneys and plaintiffs claim, the drug manufacturers reported only that there might be an initial spike in prolactin, as discussed in the Findling article, deliberately misleading the public about information already known about the long-term effects of and connection between Risperdal and gynecomastia. Notably, one autistic boy who took the medication beginning when he was seven grew size-46 Double D breasts, and received $2.5 million in a jury award for Johnson & Johnson’s failure to warn him of known potential side effects.
According to the Legal Intelligencer, attorneys in the case against Janssen recently learned of the existence of a reanalysis of the Findling Article, undertaken by Janssen. They believe the report suggests that in discovery Janssen, apparently deliberately, failed to provide omitted data showing a more significant, long-term link between Risperdal and gynecomastia. Kline is reported as saying, “We now have an order requiring defendants to turn over all documents relating to the back-and-forth between Janssen and the authors of the article who sent this so-called reanalysis to the journal.” If the documents reveal what plaintiffs’ attorneys believe they will, Risperdal plaintiffs will more easily be able to prove negligence and intention to mislead the public on the part of Risperdal manufacturers. LawCash has been providing lawsuit funding to Risperdal plaintiffs for a long time, and hopes that the newly discovered evidence helps those afflicted finally secure compensation for physical damage which might have been avoided. Learn more about LawCash pre-settlement funding or fill out our plaintiff funding application to apply.