Pharmaceutical Litigation Lawyers Serving South Carolina

At Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, our pharmaceutical law attorneys draw on years of trial experience when representing clients. We’ve won some significant, high-profile cases – including the record-breaking $327 million verdict against Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Inc., for willfully violating the South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act (SCUTPA).

Our firm was able to prove that this manufacturer knowingly sent out hundreds of thousands of misleading pieces of information about the safety and effectiveness of their antipsychotic drug Risperdal. We are not afraid to stand up against big drug companies, and as our track record shows, we are always ready, willing and able to take your case to trial.

Our Trial Team For The Janssen Case

  • John B. White Jr.
    John B. White Jr.
  • Donald C. Coggins Jr.
    Donald C. Coggins Jr.

Background On The Janssen Pharmaceutical Risperdal Litigation

At Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, we were proud to have served the state of South Carolina in obtaining a $327 million verdict levied against pharmaceutical company Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, which is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, for violations of the State’s Unfair Trade Practices Act.

In the case (State v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen et al., case no. 2007-CP-42-1438), the State of South Carolina claimed that the manufacturers of Risperdal (Risperidone), a drug used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder, misrepresented and concealed serious side effects of the drug, including:

  • Diabetes;
  • Hyperglycemia (high blood glucose);
  • Hyperprolactinemia (the presence of abnormally high levels of prolactin in the blood) which can cause premature female menstrual cycles and lactation in boys;
  • Heart related problems in elderly users;
  •  Weight gain.

These misrepresentations and concealments helped the manufacturers to elevate worldwide sales of Risperdal to $3.5 billion in 2005 alone, according to allegations in the case. After an almost three week trial, a Spartanburg County jury concluded that Janssen had willfully violated the SCUTPA through deceptive or unfair marketing and labeling of Risperdal by sending out hundreds of thousand of misleading pieces of information about the safety and effectiveness Risperdal.

The maximum penalty for each violation is $5,000, so the manufacturer could have faced liability of over $2.6 billion. However, the judge set a $4,000 fine for the 43,556 violations involving “dear doctor” letters (totaling $174,224,000) and a $300 fine for each of the 509,499 violations involving package inserts (totaling $152,849,700). All told, the manufacturer was hit with a record-breaking $327 million fine.

Other Cases Against Pharmaceutical Companies

Pharmaceutical companies have been held liable for billions of dollars for manufacturing defective and dangerous drugs, for failing to warn consumers about known defects and for engaging in unfair trade practices. Examples include:

  • Pfizer – $2.9 billion settlement over the marketing of its painkiller Bextra.
  • GlaxoSmithKline – $3 billion settlement over misbranding its antidepressant drugs Paxil and Wellbutrin and failing to report safety data on its Type 2 diabetes drug Avandia.
  • Eli Lilly & Company – $1.4 billion settlement over the marketing of its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa.

While this was a record result, every case is different, compensation for pharmaceutical injuries can include medical bills, lost income, physical pain and suffering, rehabilitation, loss of consortium and much more.

Rest assured that every pharmaceutical company will have a team of attorneys representing its best interests. If you’ve been injured by a dangerous drug, it’s important to have an experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorney that will represent yours – and that means having someone who is ready, willing and able to stand up for your rights in a court of law.

Contact Us To See How We Can Help With Your Pharmaceutical Injury Claim

Contact Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, P.C. today and let our experience help you. We represent clients in Greenville, Spartanburg, Anderson, Cherokee, Union and Pickens County and across the State of South Carolina and North Carolina. Call us at 864-585-5100 or fill out our online form.