Louisiana’s 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has upheld a $257.7 million jury verdict in a lawsuit brought by Attorney General Buddy Caldwell against Janssen Pharmaceutical and Johnson & Johnson for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program, the attorney general’s office announced.
Caldwell sued Johnson & Johnson for serious misrepresentations regarding the drug Risperdal’s link to diabetes in order to obtain funds from Louisiana’s Medicaid program.
In 2010, in St. Landry Parish ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $257.7 million to Louisiana.
“The appeals court ruling serves as a powerful reminder that a drug company’s misleading safety claims will not be tolerated in Louisiana,” said Attorney General Caldwell. “The Attorney General’s Office will continue to move aggressively against those who commit Medicaid fraud.”
After a multi-day trial, the jury unanimously concluded that the pharmaceutical companies had violated the Louisiana Medical Assistance Programs Integrity Law (MAPIL) with an aggressive marketing campaign, the appeals court noted in the written opinion.
The appeals court said it found that the “jury was not manifestly erroneous in determining that the pharmaceutical company had violated” the law, and affirmed the lower court decision.