Arkansas judge to decide penalty in J&J trial



LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A judge will decide how much Johnson & Johnson and a subsidiary must pay the state of Arkansas after a jury found the company downplayed and hid risks associated with an antipsychotic drug.

Jurors returned a quick verdict Tuesday in favor of the state. Arkansas attorneys argued that Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. lied about the potentially life-threatening side effects of Risperdal.

A hearing on how much Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary must pay is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Arkansas’ Medicaid-fraud law sets a minimum penalty of $5,000 per violation — which would total at least $1.2 billion for the 250,000 prescriptions under Medicaid over 312 years.

Previous verdicts against J&J include a $327 million civil penalty in South Carolina.

Texas reached a $158 million settlement with Janssen in January.