The record-setting $327 million verdict levied against the Ortho-McNeil-Janssen pharmaceutical company for violations of the state's Unfair Trade Practices Act is hardly small change, but it could have been a lot bigger. Like more than $2 billion bigger. The award, announced June 3, could have soared to more than $2.6 billion, had the Spartanburg judge who set damages decided to hit Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, with maximum penalties under the UTPA for violations involving the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. "We feel very good about it, obviously," said lawyer Don Coggins of the Spartanburg firm of Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins, one of several private firms that represented the state.
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