March 6, 2002 - Judge Reduces $100 Million Propulsid Verdict
A Mississippi Circuit Court judge has reduced a $100 million verdict in a case involving the recalled heartburn drug Propulsid. Former Propulsid users filed suit against Janseen Pharmaceutica, the manufacturer of the drug, and a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, alleging that Propulsid caused their serious heart rhythm disturbances. A jury found in their favor last September. Judge Lamar Pickard decreased the award to $48 million on appeal. A spokesperson for Janssen called the reduction unacceptable and said Janseen was pursuing an appeal with the Mississippi State Supreme Court to throw out the entire judgment.
In 1993 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Propulsid, also known as cisapride, for the treatment of heartburn. Janssen removed the drug from the market in the summer of 2000 after dozens became seriously ill and several died from heart arrhythmias caused by Propulsid.