High court won't hear appeal over $124M drug penalty

The Supreme Court won't hear an appeal from a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary assessed more than $124 million in penalties for deceptive marketing of an anti-psychotic drug.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that said Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. should pay the penalties for violations of South Carolina law.

In 2011, a state trial ordered the drug maker to pay $327 million, saying Janssen broke the law by downplaying to doctors the links between diabetes and Risperdal and by improperly claiming the drug was safer than competing medications. South Carolina's reduced the penalty because of the state's three-year statute of limitations on such cases.

The company claimed the penalty was excessive and that state law was pre-empted by federal laws.

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