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State and Nation Business

Ark. judge affirms $181 million in legal fees

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas judge says Johnson & Johnson must pay $181 million in fees to attorneys who successfully argued that the pharmaceutical company committed Medicaid fraud in the marketing of its antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

Pulaski County Judge Tim Fox ruled Thursday that Arkansas taxpayers should not foot the bill in the lawsuit filed by the state's attorney general. Last year, a jury found that Johnson & Johnson, through its Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, had committed Medicaid fraud and violated the state's deceptive trade practices act.

Johnson & Johnson had argued that legal fees of $2.2 million to $3.8 million would be appropriate. A Janssen spokeswoman tells the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the company maintains it did not violate the state's Medicaid fraud law and that no legal fees should have been ordered.

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