Risperdal, Talcum Powder

    Risperdal, Talcum Powder Top Johnson & Johnson Settlement Awards

    Recent Risperdal settlement awards

    Johnson & Johnson, one of America’s most recognized companies, is under fire. The pharmaceutical drug giant faces more than 100,000 lawsuits for failing to warn the public about risks from long-term talcum powder use. Talcum powder, perhaps the company’s most easily identifiable product, is also known as baby powder. Studies link this seemingly harmless powder to mesothelioma as well as ovarian and cervical cancer. For this reason, thousands of women with ovarian cancer are now suing J&J for negligence. And Risperdal® (risperidone), an antipsychotic illegally marketed to children with behavioral disorders, causes gynecomastia in boys and young men. Because consumers didn’t know about these potential threats, some juries are now awarding payouts across the U.S. Several plaintiffs recently won multimillion-dollar Johnson & Johnson settlement awards — some exceeding $2 billion — for damages.

    #1 Johnson & Johnson Settlement Award: $2.12 billion

    Plaintiff: 22 unnamed ovarian cancer plaintiffs
    Date: July 2018
    Product/Drug: Talcum powder

    This most recent (and largest) settlement follows a new trend in talcum powder litigation. Plaintiffs alleged that J&J’s products contain asbestos, and recent expert testimony backs up that assertion. Though the drug giant tried to appeal this record-breaking verdict, a judge upheld the ruling on June 23, 2020. This historic verdict ensured that each plaintiff received a Johnson & Johnson settlement worth at least $96 million.

    #2 Johnson & Johnson Settlement Award: $325 million

    Plaintiff: Donna Olsen
    Date: May 2019
    Product/Drug: Talcum powder

    Plaintiff Donna Olsen originally won $25 million in compensatory damages for her rare, asbestos-linked cancer. Shortly after her initial trial, a New York jury ordered the company to pay an additional Johnson & Johnson settlement for $300 million in punitive damages. Olsen blamed her rare mesothelioma on daily use of Johnson’s Baby Powder as well as Shower to Shower products. After several decades, long-term exposure to asbestos fibers in the talcum powder bottles turned deadly, Olsen said. She developed mesothelioma (a rare but always fatal lung cancer) after 30+ years of frequent inhaled talc exposure.

    #3 Johnson & Johnson Settlement Award: $117 million

    Plaintiff: Andrew Yount
    Date: May 2019
    Product/Drug: Talcum Powder

    Stephen Lanzo III and his wife won a $117 million talc verdict against J&J after he developed fatal mesothelioma. Lanzo testified in court that he used the company’s Shower to Shower talc-based products for over 30 years. At two large bottles every month, Lanzo’s lungs showed damage from inhaling microscopic talcum powder particles. But the most disturbing evidence of all may have been the expert testimony that supported Lanzo’s case. After hearing that an expert successfully found trace amounts of asbestos dust in Lanzo’s bottle, the New Jersey jury ruled in the plaintiff’s favor. Lanzo won $37 million in compensatory and $80 million in punitive damages.

    #4 Johnson & Johnson Settlement Award: $70 million

    Plaintiff: Andrew Yount
    Awarded: July 2016
    Product/Drug: Risperdal

    Doctors first prescribed Andrew Yount Risperdal to treat a psychiatric disorder when he was just five years old. His attorneys said Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a J&J subsidiary) failed to properly warn patients about gynecomastia as well as other harmful side effect risks. Additionally, his lawsuit alleged Janssen promoted Risperdal illegally for off-label use, concealed records and committed major legal misconduct. As a result, a Pennsylvania state court awarded Yount $70 million in compensatory damages. “This verdict will help thousands of children, boys, and their families be made aware of the dangers of Risperdal,” said attorney Steve Sheller. “To put it mildly, it’s about time that someone put J&J to task.”

    #5 Johnson & Johnson Settlement: $2.5 million

    Plaintiff: Austin Pledger
    Date: April 2015
    Product/Drug: Risperdal

    Austin Pledger, now 20, began taking J&J’s Risperdal as a teen for symptoms associated with his autism diagnosis. Consequently, after some years Pledger developed size 44D breasts. Years later, a Missouri court found Janssen guilty of failing to warn about Risperdal’s dangers as well as illegally marketing the drug for use in children. And jurors awarded Pledger $2.5 million in physical as well as psychological damages. Pledger’s attorney Thomas Kline said: “I have never seen a worse case of corporate misconduct than I have here.”

    Overturned Settlement Awards

    Updated: 8/30/2018

    Unfortunately, the following talc settlements were all subsequently overturned on appeal by Johnson & Johnson:

    #1 Johnson & Johnson Settlement Award: $72 million

    Plaintiff: Jacqueline Fox (compensation awarded to her son, Marvin Salter)
    Date: Awarded February 2016 – settlement reversed on appeal in October 2017
    Product/Drug: Talcum powder

    #2 Johnson & Johnson Settlement Award: $55 million

    Plaintiff: Gloria Ristesund
    Date: May 2016– settlement reversed on appeal in July 2018
    Product/Drug: Talcum powder

    #3 Johnson & Johnson Settlement Award: $417 million

    Plaintiff: Eva Echeverria
    Date: August 2017 – settlement reversed on appeal in October 2017
    Product/Drug: Talcum Powder

    Do You Have a Case?

    If you developed serious, life-changing complications from either Risperdal or talcum powder, you may qualify for compensation. Because Johnson & Johnson still knowingly markets Risperdal and talcum powder to consumers without additional warning labels, lawsuits are now underway. To see if you may qualify for a significant cash settlement due to ovarian cancer, complete your free talcum powder claim review today. Once you’ve submitted your information, an experienced lawyer will call to discuss your case.

    Related: Why the FDA Doesn’t Regulate Talcum Powder Like You Think

    Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as Match.com, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity, Mail.com, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.

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