Johnson and Johnson's motion for reconsideration on first-to-file rule denied in Massachusetts

by Ben Vernia | May 17th, 2011

On May 12, Judge Richard G. Stearns in Massachusetts denied Johnson and Johnson’s motion to reconsider his February 25 order denying him relief from one qui tam suit on grounds of the False Claims Act’s first-to-file rule (Judge Stearns did dismiss another relator, however, for that reason). In its motion, the company argued that the court had based its decision on the mistaken belief that an earlier relator’s complaint had not mentioned the drug at issue – Risperdal, an antipsychotic.

Judge Stearns ruled that notwithstanding the earlier case’s mention of Risperdal, the subsequently filed qui tam differed sufficiently from the allegations of the original one to avoid dismissal.

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