SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Legal Newsline) – South Carolina's lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceutica over its prescription antipsychotic Risperdal went to trial Tuesday in the state's 7th Judicial Circuit Court.

The lawsuit was brought by former Attorney General Henry McMaster through outside counsel he hired to pursue the case. It was filed in May 2007 and alleged Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, caused the State to provide medical treatment caused by side effects of the drug.

Janssen also marketed the drug for off-label uses, it is alleged. The alleged side effects concern weight gain-related issues like diabetes and hypertension.

"After achieving (Food and Drug Administration) approval of Risperdal, Defendants plotted and schemed to increase the sales of Risperdal while avoiding the substantial expense and delay of petitioning the FDA for approval of expanded or additional uses of Risperdal," the State's complaint says.

Janssen successfully appealed a $4.5 million ruling against it in a Risperdal case in West Virginia.

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