Blog

November 2015

Risperdal Verdict Orders Johnson & Johnson to Pay $1.75 Million

A state court jury in Philadelphia has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.75 million dollars in damages to a young man who developed gynecomastia, or abnormal breast development, while taking the drug. The verdict compensates the young man for disfigurement and mental anguish, among other damages, and signifies a significant step forward for individuals and their families who were harmed by the drug.

By way of background, Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals division are accused of improperly marketing Risperdal for off-label uses and engaging in false and misleading promotional activities, negligently designing the medication, failing to warn consumers of the risks of the medication, and breaching warranties to consumers. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines to the Department of Justice to settle charges that the defendants improperly promoted the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

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Federal Government Needs to Do More to Combat Legionnaires' Disease

In the wake of the latest Legionella outbreak in the State of New York, Senator Chuck Schumer has called upon the Federal Government to increase funding to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for further research into the disease.  Citing concerns that state residents may be increasingly at risk for exposure to the bacteria from many sources, Schumer noted the importance of such research, especially in light of the New York City outbreak which killed 12 persons and sickened over 140 (After Leionnaires' cases at Syracuse hospital, Schumer pushes for water testing standards). In calling for nationwide standards, we believe that New York City's stringent regulations, formulated after the Bronx outbreak, should be used as a starting point for any national regulations.

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Locks Law Firm Attorneys Supporting Fair Use Of Experts In New Jersey

Proper use of experts is essential in many cases. Locks Law Firm (LLF) partners Jonathan Miller and Michael Galpern wrote an amicus brief on behalf of the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ) addressing two timely expert issues raised in Torres v. Pabon, in which the plaintiff’s car crashed into the rear of the defendant’s gray trash truck at 4:30 in the morning.

The first issue addressed why the plaintiff could not have seen the trash truck in time to avoid the crash. The plaintiff’s expert gave opinions as to why this was, in fact, the case.  The defense challenged the expert’s testimony as a “net opinion,” meaning it did not have sufficient basis in the facts. LLF argued that indeed the expert did have a sufficient basis: he relied on testimony by the witnesses as to their speed and the condition of lights on the truck. He explained why normal tests, such as the energy crush test, could not be used to estimate the speed.

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Locks Law Firm Attorneys Doing Their Part in Fight Against Forced Arbitration Clauses

Yesterday, the New York Times featured the second article in its three-part series on the growing use of arbitration to create an alternate justice system—one that deprives citizens of the right to their day in court.  According to the article, which featured many stories of individuals harmed by forced arbitration, “[f]rom birth to death, the use of arbitration has crept into nearly every corner of Americans’ lives, encompassing moments like having a baby, going to school, getting a job, buying a car, building a house and placing a parent in a nursing home.”  Unfortunately, as stated in the first article in this series, “[b]y inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts” many companies have “devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits, realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices.”

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Locks Law Firm Attorneys to Serve as Amici for the Supreme Court of New Jersey

Locks Law Firm partner Jonathan Miller and associate James Barry represented the New Jersey Association for Justice (NJAJ) at the Supreme Court of New Jersey as amici.  As representatives of the NJAJ, the pre-eminent plaintiff/consumer group in the state of New Jersey, they argued how 2 various cases may affect plaintiffs/consumers across the state.

Mr. Miller, whose almost 40 year history of appellate litigation includes being Chief of Appeals of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, argued two timely issues concerning experts: the sufficiency of the evidence and standards for an expert to render opinions concerning motor vehicle accidents, and whether an adverse inference may be drawn if a defendant does not call its expert to testify.

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Locks Law Associate, Melanie Garner, Appointed to the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice

Melanie Garner, an associate at Locks Law Firm was recently appointed to the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJ).

The PAJ is committed to preserving civil justice and dedicated to protecting individuals injured in Pennsylvania. With headquarters in Philadelphia and Harrisburg, leaders and members  assist plaintiff attorneys in better representing their clients, and advocate for the integrity of a robust civil justice system.

As a new member to the Board of Governors, Garner will now be among the decision makers at PAJ, participating in the promotion of proactive legislation that preserves the rights of injured victims, and supporting attorneys throughout the state as they work to ensure justice for their clients.

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