Week Adjourned: 3.18.16 – ADT, Hip Replacements, Risperdal

ADT logoTop Class Action Lawsuits

Questionable Security? Heads up all you folks that have residential ADT security systems. The company got hit with a consumer fraud class action lawsuit this week, over claims they overstate the safety of its systems. That’s comforting.

Filed by Santiago L. Hernandez, individually and for all others similarly situated, the ADT lawsuit contends that, despite claims by ADT—that its home security equipment and monitoring services use the most innovative and advanced technology on the market—ADT’s wireless signals are both unencrypted and unauthenticated, and unauthorized third parties can easily intercept and interfere with them.

According to the lawsuit, Hernandez and other ADT consumers in the class are more vulnerable and less safe than ADT leads them to believe. The suit claims violation of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

The case is US District Court for the Southern District of Florida Case number 9:16-cv-80335-WJZ. 

Top Settlements

Hip-Hip-Hooray! Well, sort of–though it probably doesn’t go far enough to take away all that the victims have been through. But here’s a whopper. To the tune of $502 million. That’s the verdict awarded to five plaintiffs in a bellwether trial concerning Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip replacement devices.

The math goes $142 million in compensatory and $360 million punitive damages. The verdict was reached following 37 days of testimony in the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas Dallas Division.

The trial consolidated cases involving five separate plaintiffs who are residents of Texas. The lawsuits, including those of more than 7,000 plaintiffs nationwide in the multidistrict litigation (MDL), claim that the DePuy implants were defective and caused metal debris to enter into patients’ bloodstreams, causing severe injuries and sometimes leading to revision surgery.

According to attorneys for the plaintiffs, the evidence in the testimony against J&J was ground breaking, particularly in relation to what, in effect, amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to orthopedic surgeons to use and recommend this product.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys also discovered several instances in which physicians lied in medical clinical testing of the devices and forged consent forms for patients who were using the product to lie about the results the patients experienced with the product.

Risperdal Settlement… Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals also got hit with a large Risperdal settlement this week—$124 million to be precise, ending nine years of litigation dealing with allegations it illegally promoted the anti-psychotic prescription drug Risperdal for unapproved or “off-label” uses. Ah, that old chestnut.

The charges were brought by South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson. In February he announced that Ortho-McNeil-Janssen will pay $124,324,700 in satisfaction of the settlement to South Carolina.

According to the lawsuit, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen employed aggressive marketing techniques to persuade doctors to prescribe the drug to their patients, including children with disabilities and elderly dementia patients. The company sent more than 7,000 letters to doctors, allegedly overstating the efficacy of Risperdal without FDA approval.

Risperdal (generic name Risperidone) is an atypical antipsychotic that works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain. Developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Risperdal was approved by the FDA in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. Risperdal side effects include gynecomastia (male breast growth), tardive dyskinesia, high blood sugar and diabetes, stroke, heart attack and even death. As of September 2012 more than 420 Risperdal lawsuits had been filed, 130 of which are gynecomastia claims. 

Ok, that’s a wrap folks…Have a good one. See you at the Bar!

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