$70 Million Awarded in Risperdal Trial
The largest verdict in a Risperdal lawsuit has been awarded to a teenage boy who alleged the antipsychotic drug led to his growth of female-size breasts. Earlier this month, J&J was ordered to pay $70 million in compensatory damages to the Tennessee plaintiff.
The jury in the Philadelphia case determined that Risperdal manufacturer Janssen, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, failed to provide proper warning about the gynecomastia risks associated with their drug. As a result, Risperdal users like this young man were left vulnerable to side effects that could result in emotional distress and a reduced quality of life overall.
$70 million Risperdal verdict
The plaintiff, a 16-year-old from Tennessee, stated in his complaint that he began taking Risperdal at the age of five to treat a psychiatric disorder. At that time his parents were not warned about gynecomastia, a possible Risperdal side effect that results in male breast growth. Attorneys for the plaintiff also claimed Johnson & Johnson manipulated data from studies that showed Risperdal was linked to gynecomastia, so that doctors would continue to prescribe this drug to their young male patients.
The case was one of more than 1,500 that have been filed in a Philadelphia court. Five of those cases have been heard to date, with five rulings in favor of the plaintiffs as juries have determined Janssen and Johnson & Johnson failed to provide proper warning about the dangers associated with their drug. The jury awards in those cases have ranged from $500,000 to $2.5 million.
The $2.5 million verdict was awarded in February 2015 to a male plaintiff who claimed that use of Risperdal caused him to grow 46 DD breasts. That verdict was followed by $1.75 million award, rendered by a separate jury in the same Philadelphia court.
Risperdal and male breast growth
Risperdal was first approved to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in adults. However, at the prompting of J&J, doctors also began prescribing the drug off-label to treat dementia in seniors, as well as autism and behavioral disorders in children. Attorneys for the plaintiffs allege Janssen and Johnson & Johnson actually downplayed potential side effects in an attempt to increase sales of their drug.
Unfortunately, plaintiffs coming forward against Risperdal manufacturers have provided evidence that side effects associated with the drug can be both emotionally devastating and long-lasting. Gynecomastia, the development of male breasts, is rarely a significant medical concern, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, the condition can be physically painful to some sufferers as well as emotionally debilitating. Men with gynecomastia may require counseling and other types of emotional support to cope with their condition.
Hundreds of men that developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal have filed claims against Janssen and Johnson & Johnson. Many of those cases have been coordinated into the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where plaintiffs continue to await their day in court. Legal counsel for Risperdal plaintiffs hope this recent $70 million verdict sends a clear message to the defendants.
If you have experienced adverse effects from Risperdal, proper legal representation will make all the difference in the success of your case. The Sanders Firm is currently reviewing Risperdal cases and can help determine whether you are entitled to damages for medical treatment, pain and emotional distress.
For a free evaluation of your case, contact our product liability attorneys at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY.
- Bloomberg, J&J Hit with $70 Million Risperdal Verdict over Male Breasts, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-01/j-j-faces-record-70-million-verdict-over-male-breasts
- Philly.com, Philadelphia Jury Pins $70 Million Verdict on Janssen for its Risperdal Drug, http://articles.philly.com/2016-07-03/business/74176052_1_risperdal-janssen-pharmaceuticals-zyprexa
- New Brunswick Today, J&J Biochemist Testifies Company Never Gave Risperdal Safety Analysis it Knew about for Years, http://newbrunswicktoday.com/article/jj-biochemist-testifies-company-never-gave-fda-risperdal-safety-analysis-it-knew-about-years
- Forbes, J&J Sees Male Breasts and Quickly Settles Risperdal Suit, http://www.forbes.com/sites/edsilverman/2012/09/11/jj-sees-male-breasts-and-quickly-settles-risperdal-suit/#1a36363e5730