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The largest verdict and settlement award in Pennsylvania from the period of August 2013 to August 2014 was handled by Sheller, P.C. with a $2.2 billion settlement with Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceutical, its subsidiary, according to The Legal Intelligencer.

Healthcare giant J&J paid the federal government in excess of $2 billion in a civil settlement and criminal fines to settle allegations that they illegally marketed Risperdal, a popular antipsychotic medication.

It was also the largest civil criminal settlement in the history of the qui tam False Claims Act for a single drug.

Verdicts and settlement data – published in PaLaw – was reviewed by the Legal Intelligencer and determined that the average amount for the top 50 cases in 2013-2014 was an estimated $67.7 million, compared to less than $40 million the prior year.

The $2.2 billion settlement was nearly twice that of the largest award the year before.

“I refer to this as the second wave of the whistleblower cases,” said Stephen A. Sheller, who handles whistleblower cases and represented plaintiffs in two of this year’s top 50 cases. “What’s happened is there are many more because more lawyers are looking out for them.”

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