Congratulations to Attorney Simona Farrise of the Farrise Law Firm of California for taking on pharmaceutical giant Janssen Pharmaceutical and holding them accountable for the death of 25 year old Leo Liu. Leo Liu was used in a human drug experiment in Janssen’s quest to develop Risperidone, an injectable form of Risperdal. Simona Farrise took the case in 2009 to represent the parents of Leo Liu and to bring Janssen Pharmaceutical to justice. After nearly six years of intense litigation led by attorney Simona Farrise, a jury spoke returning a verdict of $8.0 million on behalf of the mother of Leo Liu and found Janssen 70% responsible for the death.
At the age of 19 Leo Liu developed a sudden onset mental disorder and was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia. By 2009, Leo was 25 and desperate for help to reclaim the happy, active life he enjoyed prior to his diagnosis. Despicably, Leo Liu was persuaded by Janssen’s clinical investigator to participate in a human drug experiment Janssen was conducting on schizophrenics to gain FDA approval of a new form of its long time drug Risperdal.
In separate actions concerning the same drug, Johnson & Johnson and three of its subsidiaries agreed to pay $2.2 billion dollars to resolve criminal and civil claims for improper off-label marketing practices involving the use of Risperdal. Despite that, Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, pushed forward with the clinical trial of the injectable form of the drug known as Risperidone. Leo Liu was about to become their next victim.
On February 22, 2009, despite an abnormal screening EKG and abnormal lab results at screening, Leo Liu was entered into the human experimental trial and a couple of days later injected with Risperidone. Hours following the injection, lab results indicated panic level abnormal liver test results and continuing EKG abnormalities, yet the Janssen investigator who was vetted, hired and paid by Janssen to conduct the experiment, took no action to get Leo desperately needed medical services. On February 25th just two days following the injection, Leo Liu was sent to a local hospital by Janssen with none of their information about the heart and liver problems and he died very soon after arrival at the age of 25.
As Simona Farrise so accurately puts it,
I have to make the distinction that this is not medicine, the injection was not given to help him or to cure him. It was designed for Johnson and Johnson to be able to sell a new formulation of an old drug legally protected by a patent from any competition and make money.
We are honored to support trial lawyers throughout the U.S. like Simona Farrise who demonstrate the legal acumen, expertise, passion and the commitment to justice in taking on corporate giants like Janssen. Simona Farrise pushed forward for many years to seek justice on behalf of Leo Liu’s family, who died needlessly while carelessly being used as part of a human drug experiment. Click here to view news coverage on the verdict.
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