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Expert Witness Assistance

On Monday, March 27, 2017, a Pennsylvania state judge declared a mistrial in the latest case over the alleged side effects of the Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. antipsychotic drug Risperdal.  In the midst of his testimony, the expert witness for the plaintiff ran to the aid of a juror suffering a medical emergency.  The expert, Dr. Mark Solomon, was to testify that the plaintiff’s exposure to Risperdal had caused him to develop large female-like breasts (a condition known as gynecomastia).

After the juror was taken to the hospital, Johnson & Johnson moved for a mistrial noting that the incident had colored the jury’s view of Solomon and his testimony.   The plaintiff attempted to persuade the Court to consider either questioning the jurors on their ability to fairly judge Solomon’s testimony or offer a curative instruction.  The judge disagreed stating in the transcript, “[b]ased on my reading of the law, my understanding of facts, I believe that it’s a manifest necessity to declare a mistrial.”  A new jury is being selected and opening arguments are set to begin this week.

Dean Hibbs v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al. Case No.: 130600861, Court of Common Pleas of the State of Pennsylvania, County of Philadelphia

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