Closing arguments begin in Johnson & Johnson trial in Arkansas

By Chuck Bartels Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Closing arguments are under way in Arkansas’ billion-dollar lawsuit against a Johnson &Johnson subsidiary that makes the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

The state sued Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., accusing the company of downplaying or hiding risks associated with Risperdal. A judge in Pulaski County allotted 90 minutes for each side to make their arguments Tuesday.

Defense attorneys said earlier there’s no evidence anyone in Arkansas was injured by Risperdal or that the state lost any money because of the drug.

The state wants a minimum of $1.2 billion in fines for the 250,000 prescriptions issued under its Medicaid program over a 3.5-year period.

In January, Janssen settled with Texas for $158 million in a similar suit but the company did not admit liability or fault.