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Presented by Hodgson Russ, the Whistleblower Blog is written by a team of lawyers experienced in successfully guiding both whistleblowers and companies accused by whistleblowers of wrongdoing through the False Claims Act process.

Hodgson Russ Helps Plaintiffs in Largest-Ever False Claims Act Settlement in Risperdal Lawsuits Against Johnson & Johnson

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The Justice Department announced last week that Johnson & Johnson will pay $1.273 billion to the federal government and most states to settle a civil False Claims Act investigation into its off-label marketing of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. J&J will settle a criminal investigation into the matter for an additional $800 million.

Hodgson Russ is proud to represent two of the plaintiffs who blew the whistle on J&J. The team, led by Daniel C. Oliverio, included Joseph V. Sedita and Robert J. Fluskey, Jr.

After the local case against J&J was filed in Western New York in 2004 for its off-label marketing of Risperdal, the federal government consolidated this case in Philadelphia with four other similar cases related to Ripserdal marketing. In False Claims Act cases like this one, whistleblowers are entitled to a share of the proceeds; the two whistleblowers represented by Hodgson Russ will share in 15 percent of the settlement awards.

Dan said, “As one of only a few major law firms to represent both selected whistleblowers as well as selected companies accused by whistleblowers of wrongdoing, we feel we were exceptionally well positioned to represent our remarkable clients in this case.”

Dan continued, “This settlement, which is the largest FCA relator share settlement in history, follows on the heels of another whistleblower suit, in which we served as lead counsel, that resulted in the largest FCA settlement in Western New York history. I am incredibly proud of the work our team is doing to support these whistleblowers as they go up against powerful corporations that choose to defraud the government—and the taxpayers.”

Risperdal, once J&J’s best-selling drug, was approved by the FDA in 1993 for psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia. According to documents filed with the court, the company also sought to sell Risperdal for unapproved uses that included bi-polar disorder, dementia, and mood and anxiety disorders, among others.

John Sinatra is a partner in the Business Litigation Practice at Hodgson Russ LLP. You can reach him at jsinatra@hodgsonruss.com

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Hodgson Russ is one of only a few major law firms that represents both whistleblowers and companies accused by whistleblowers of wrongdoing. This unusual perspective means we are exceptionally well positioned to advise whistleblowers about potential claims.

We are not a "whistleblower mill" that pays little attention to the needs of its clients or the factual nuances of complex cases. Rather, we are a team of highly experienced lawyers that selects only the best cases, affording us the time and focus to become fully immersed in the factual and legal details necessary to bring cases to successful resolution.