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J&J's $8B Jury Award in Risperdal Case Cut to $6.8M by Judge

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A Philadelphia judge slashed the amount of punitive damages awarded to Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) by a jury in October from $8 billion to $6.8 million in a lawsuit related to its antipsychotic drug, Risperdal. The decision was given by Judge Kenneth Powell of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas

In October last year, J&J was ordered by a Philadelphia jury to pay $8 billion in punitive damages in the abovementioned case. The lawsuit filed by Nicholas Murray claimed that J&J did not warn of the risk that young men using Risperdal can develop enlarged breasts.

J&J faces more than 13,000 similar lawsuits alleging that use of Risperdal causes enlargement of breast tissues in boys — a condition known as gynecomastia. The $8 billion-  award was the biggest in the pending Risperdal lawsuits, which have been primarily filed in state courts in Pennsylvania, California and Missouri. Earlier, a compensatory damage award of $680,000 was paid to Murray in the same lawsuit.

J&J’s stock has risen 14.1% in the past year compared with an increase of 14.4% recorded by the industry.

J&J faces a slew of lawsuits, which allege personal injuries to patients caused by the use of its medicines, mainly its talc and opioid products. These lawsuits have resulted in uncertainty.

J&J faces more than 16,000 lawsuits for its talc-based products, primarily its baby powders. The lawsuits allege that its talc products contain asbestos, which caused many women to develop ovarian cancer

J&J also faces thousands of other lawsuits related to the abuse of its opioid-based drugs. These lawsuits claim that J&J is one of the several companies whose opioid-based drugs were responsible for fueling the state’s opioid epidemic. In August 2019, J&J was ordered by a district court in Oklahoma to pay $572 million to the state of Oklahoma in connection with a lawsuit filed by the latter. In October, J&J settled with two counties of Ohio for $10 million plus other cost reimbursements, in connection with the multi-district opioid case in Ohio. There are still a number of opioid-related lawsuits pending against J&J and others. Other companies facing similar allegations are Teva Pharma TEVA, Endo International ENDP, Allergan and Mallinckrodt MNK.

J&J currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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