The state of Montana was one of many that filed suit against Janssen Ortho LLC and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., over the marketing of Risperdal, an atypical antipsychotic medication that is used to treat various psychological disorders. The drug is the source of several product liability claims that have either been settled or are still pending.
The lawsuit in Montana was filed in 2008 by the Montana State Attorney General. Janssen Ortho LLC and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., were accused of employing illegal, unfair and deceptive practices in the marketing of the defective product. The claim also suggested that Risperdal could put patients at risk for serious side effects. The defendants allegedly promoted the drug to many physicians in Montana as safe to prescribe, when they apparently knew there were dangers associated with the drug.
In this case, although the parties agreed to settle the case, Janssen did not admit to any wrongdoing. The compensation to settle the case was $5.9 million. This is only for Montana. Several other states are still in the middle of their lawsuits.
In addition to legal costs and reimbursement for purchasing the drug in question, Montana is using the compensation for several programs aimed at awareness and prevention of both mental health and prescription drug abuse. Additionally more than $600,000 will be used by the state to help educate and protect consumers.
Montana Attorney General Tim Fox noted that the number of youths in the state, between the ages of 12 and 17, who are abusing prescription drugs is now close to 8 percent. The dangers of prescription drugs are a reality that we must face. If a company has manufactured or sold a defective product, or issued a product with an insufficient warning to the consumer, they can be held responsible for resulting damages.
Source: KRTV.com, "Montana reaches $5.9M settlement in pharmaceutical case," Sanjay Talwani, March 8, 2014