On Friday, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Kenneth Powell drastically cut the $8 billion jury award passed October last to $ 6.8 million in punitive damages over Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ antipsychotic drug Risperdal, which caused a Maryland man to develop enlarged breasts.
Murray was awarded $1.75 million as compensatory damages in 2015, which was later reduced to $685,000, against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary.
Judge Powell denied Janssen’s post-trial motions in all other respects but brought the punitive damages award to 10 times the compensatory award of $680,000. In this two-sentence judgment, Judge Powell did not outline his reasoning for slashing the $8 billion jury award.
Thousands of lawsuits are filed against J&J, claiming that the powerful antipsychotic drug causes gynecomastia in boys, an undesired growth of breast tissue. Two coordinated actions are filed for Risperdal cases: one in Los Angeles Superior Court (Risperdal and Invega Product Liability Cases, JCCP 4775, presided by Honorable William Highberger) and the other in Philadelphia (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, March 2010 Term, Case No. 100300296).