Risperdal Trial Opens in Texas

A trial wherein the plaintiff seeks a billion dollars in damages against the manufacturer of the drug Risperdal has opened in Texas. Johnson & Johnson, the beleaguered pharmaceutical giant has already lost more than $600 million over the marketing of its anti-psychotic drug, faces a potentially huge losses in the trial.
Texas is seeking damages of more than $1 billion.
State Attorney General Greg Abbott accused J&J of paying officials to get Risperdal on approved drug lists, marketing it for unapproved uses to children and the elderly, and lying about its effects. The case in state court in Austin was filed by a whistle-blower and joined by the state, which is seeking repayment of Medicaid payments.
Texas is asking for reimbursement of $579 million, said Tom Melsheimer, a lawyer for the whistle-blower. The amount could be tripled by jurors under state law. In addition, jurors will decide the number of violations and set a penalty of up to $10,000 apiece, if the state wins.