A $2.5 million verdict in the first Risperdal case to go to jury related to the condition gynecomastia has been upheld, after a judge in Philadelphia refused Janssen Pharmaceutical’s motion seeking a new trial
Johnson & Johnson – parent company to Janssen Pharmaceutical – had originally been ordered by a Philadelphia jury to pay $2.5 million to a young man from Alabama – who developed size 46 DD breasts as a young teenager – because the company failed to adequately warn of that potential side effect from his use of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
During the trial the jury learned that the plaintiff had begun taking Risperdal in 2002, when he was just 8 years old, to treat symptoms associated with autism. At the time, Risperdal had not been approved for autism, nor had it been approved for use in children.
That case was important, and served as a reminder, that only two years prior, Johnson & Johnson paid $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations of illegally marketing Risperdal and other drugs for off-label uses to children and the elderly. That remains one of the largest health-care fraud settlements in US history.
Originally Johnson & Johnson marketed the drug as a safe treatment for children with ADHD – in spite of the fact Risperdal wasn’t approved for use with children until 2006. In this trial, and in earlier settlements, it was revealed that Johnson & Johnson’s own internal research had shown that children were susceptible to certain health risks from taking Risperdal including the possibility that boys could develop breasts through elevated production of the hormone prolactin – yet they continued to market the drug. During the trial former FDA commissioner David Kessler gave damaging testimony that Johnson & Johnson knew about the risks associated with Risperdal, but failed to disclose the data showing the extent to which youngsters may develop gynecomastia.
Thousands of Risperdal lawsuits have been filed and at least 10 gynecomastia trials are expected to be heard in Philadelphia through the first half of 2018.
Johnson & Johnson has a long history of placing profits before patient safety. In the case of Risperdal, they continued to recklessly marketed Risperdal knowing that it could cause gynecomastia, Even after learning of the dangers the product posed.
At Saunders & Walker we continue to provide free legal reviews to alleged victims of Risperdal and gynecomastia. If you or someone you know has developed gynecomastia or any other dangerous side effect after taking Risperdal please contact us for a free consultation.