For the second year in a row, mass tort programs in Philadelphia have reached record highs, with litigation involving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal once again leading the pack.
The total inventory of mass tort programs in the city jumped from 196 at the beginning of 2017 to 10,984 by year’s end, representing a 77 percent increase for the Complex Litigation Center’s overall inventory.
Pharmaceutical cases saw the most growth in the court, starting the year at 5,601 cases and nearly doubling to 10,395 by Dec. 31, 2017 – a startling 85.5 percent increase. The vast majority of the growth is credited to Risperdal litigation, which makes up 56 percent of the total mass tort inventory.
Risperdal lawsuits pending in Philadelphia jumped from 1,945 at the beginning of 2017 to 6,200 by the end of the year – an increase of 219 percent. That jump is credited to Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals ending a tolling agreement, which required those suing the company to file their lawsuits in court in order to avoid the statute of limitations running out.
The Risperdal cases accuse Johnson & Johnson and Janssen of failing to adequately warn that use of the antipsychotic could cause adolescent boys to develop gynecomastia, a condition in which boys grow female like breasts.
Risperdal is used to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability with autism. It is often prescribed off label to treat behavioral conditions like ADHD and Tourette’s syndrome.
Source: Legal Intelligencer