Risperdal Class Action Lawsuit
If you suffered complications associated with the antipsychotic medication, Risperdal, you may be considering either becoming part of a Risperdal class action lawsuit or filing an individual lawsuit. While both choices do have advantages, a class action lawsuit is likely not the most advantageous option in which to ensure that you receive the greatest amount of compensation possible for your injury-related damages.
Risperdal received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in 1993 for the treatment of psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. Later, Risperdal was approved for other uses. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed in recent years that allege use of the antipsychotic medication caused patients to suffer a variety of serious side effects, including Risperdal gynecomastia (male breast growth). The majority have been filed as individual claims, rather than Rispderal class action lawsuits.
Class Action Lawsuit vs. Individual Claim
Class action lawsuits allow individuals to band together to file one claim against a company in cases where they have all sustained the same injury as result of the same product. In the case of a Risperdal class action, plaintiffs would file suit against Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, the manufacturer of the medication.
While class actions can be efficient, and offer plaintiffs significant savings on time and legal costs, this avenue is not always the most appropriate option in every case. For example, in the case of Risperdal, plaintiffs have allegedly suffered a range of different injuries, including diabetes and male breast growth. As a result of differing medical treatments and other factors, each claimant’s damages will vary significantly. So the remedies offered by a Risperdal class action – which generally provides for identical compensation among class members – probably won’t serve most plaintiffs very well.
It should also be noted that most plaintiffs in a class action claim will not retain very much control over the claim. Rather, the plaintiff chose as class representative will have the right to make most of the important decisions affecting the case, including whether or not to accept any settlement offers. This individual has no obligation to consult other class members about these decisions.
Most importantly, becoming part of a Risperdal class action could jeopardize your future legal rights. If the attorney representing the class is defeated in court, it is highly unlikely that any individual class member will be able to file their own Risperdal lawsuit at a later date.
Are Risperdal Lawsuits Being Consolidated?
As of November 2013, more than 200 Risperdal lawsuits alleging a variety of injuries, including gynecomastia, have been consolidated in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Risperdal settlements have already been reached in a few of these claims.
A consolidated proceeding such as the one established in Pennsylvania for Risperdal lawsuits differs from a class action lawsuit as it allows every plaintiff to maintain his or her own individual claim. Cases are centralized only for discovery purposes and for other pretrial issues. Typically, the Court selects a few individual claims on which to conduct test trials. These cases are known as bellwethers. The bellwethers will gauge the strengths and weakness of plaintiff claims and are meant to ensure the consolidated cases proceed toward settlement.
Speak With an Attorney Today
If you or a loved one could be the victim of Risperdal male breast growth, and you are trying to determine if joining a Risperdal class action lawsuit would be in your best interest, Bernstein Liebhard LLP can help. For a free, no obligation review of your case, please call 1 (855) 511-1001 today.