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Texas Suit Against Johnson & Johnson Heads To Court

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AUSTIN (AP) – Texas is seeking more than $1 billion in damages in a lawsuit that accuses Johnson & Johnson of overstating the safety of an anti-psychotic drug and influencing its use in the state’s Medicaid program.

Jury selection is under way Monday in an Austin courtroom. A whistle-blower filed the lawsuit then Texas joined it.

The lawsuit is one of dozens of pending state and federal cases alleging illegal marketing practices and kickbacks in an effort to boost Risperdal over competing drugs. Risperdal is a pill for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Johnson & Johnson says it will vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit’s claims.

The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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