A small law firm is coming into some big cash.
Arkansas state judge Tim Fox has ordered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay $181 million in fees to Houston-based Bailey Perrin Bailey for the work it did on a state Medicare fraud case involving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. In that case, Fox fined J&J $1.1 billion for downplaying and hiding the risks associated with Risperdal, as well as marketing the drug for unapproved uses. As a result of J&J’s deceptive practices, Fox said, Arkansas’ Medicaid insurance program overpaid for the drug.
The $181 million represents a 15 percent contingency fee that the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office agreed to pay to Bailey Perrin Bailey, which assigned up to 10 lawyers and five paralegals to the case. The 23-lawyer firm specializes in product liability, personal injury and defective drug claims.
Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Teresa Mueller calls the fees “excessive” and says the company plans to appeal them.
“The fee awarded represents about $19,700 per hour for each of the outside attorneys and staff who worked on the case for the state, based on our reconstruction of their actual time,” Mueller said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office says the ruling “has nothing whatsoever to do with reconstruction of time,” but everything to do with J&J’s deceptive and illegal actions.
For more InsideCounsel coverage of the J&J Risperdal litigation, read: