Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $258M to La.

AP News
Posted: Oct 15, 2010 4:05 PM
Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $258M to La.

A Louisiana jury says health products maker Johnson & Johnson owes the state nearly $258 million for misleading doctors about the possible side effects of one of its anti-psychotic medications.

The ruling was handed down Thursday in Opelousas (ah-puh-LOO'-sihs). The New Brunswick, N.J.-based company said it will appeal the verdict.

Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's office had argued the company, through its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutica Inc., had violated a state law against misrepresentation and fraud.

Caldwell's office says Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary sent letters to more than 7,500 doctors and made more than 27,000 phone calls that improperly claimed its schizophrenia drug Risperdal was safer than other competing medications.