Court Reverses $5.6M Risperdal Death Case Verdict

Judge holding gavel in court room

A state appeals court in California overturned a $5.6 million Risperdal verdict against Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen subsidiary, which is accused of causing the death of a young man during the drug’s clinical trials.

On Jan. 3, 2018, a panel of the California Court of Appeals for the Second District ruled that J&J did not “owe the deceased a duty of care for a preexisting heart condition,” according to a report from Reuters.

The panel also concluded that there was not enough evidence to link the antipsychotic drug to the death.

According to the original lawsuit — Augustine Liu, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Case No. BC432264 — Augustine Liu, II died in 2009 after enrolling in a Risperdal clinical trial and suffering heart problems.

His parents later filed a lawsuit against Liu’s psychiatrist and J&J.

In 2015, a 12-member jury in Los Angeles County Superior Court found J&J’s negligence contributed to Liu’s death.

The jury awarded $8 million to Liu’s parents and assigned 70 percent of the liability — about $5.6 million in damages — to the drugmaker and 30 percent to Liu’s psychiatrist.

Although the appeals court overturned the verdict, the case highlights the importance of safety during clinical…