Johnson & Johnson Loses First Jury Trial over Risperdal® and Male Breast Development
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Feb 26, 2015 in Drug Litigation
Johnson & Johnson, makers of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, lost its first jury trial in Philadelphia on Tuesday. The pharmaceutical company was ordered to pay $2.5 million to a 20-year-old autistic man from Alabama who developed gynecomastia after taking the medication.
The lawsuit alleged that Johnson & Johnson had failed to warn patients that gynecomastia, or the development of female breasts in men, could be a side effect of Risperdal. The plaintiff in this case had developed size 46 DD breasts as a teenager.
Risperdal was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. It was not approved for use in children or adolescents until 13 years later, in 2006.
Evidence from the lawsuit showed that pharmaceutical representatives from Johnson & Johnson had been pushing doctors (including the plaintiffs doctor) to prescribe Risperdal to children and teenagers even though it had not yet been tested on young people. The plaintiff was prescribed Risperdal in 2002, when he was 8 years old.
The jury found that Johnson & Johnson had failed to adequately warn patients and doctors of harmful potential side effects, and delivered the company its first loss in court over this medication.
Johnson & Johnson previously paid $2.2 billion to the Department of Justice in criminal and civil fines as a result of illegally marketing Risperdal for unapproved purposes. This fine, however, was paid to the government as punishment, and did not compensate individual patients who were harmed.
Individual patients who were harmed by Risperdal do not yet have a remedy other than filing a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. Attorneys for plaintiffs around the country are hoping that a large loss in a lawsuit like this will lead the company to create a settlement fund, as it has with other dangerous drugs or defective medical devices.
If you or your family member developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal, the attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan want to discuss your legal options, and help you get the compensation you deserve.