Johnson & Johnson was found liable for $2.5 Million in damages due to the development of gynecomastia in a young, autistic boy. Gynecomastia is the term for the development of female-like breasts in males. The drug Risperdal has been linked to this condition. The plaintiff of the Risperdal lawsuit at subject of this blog developed size 46 DD breasts after taking the drug.
What is different about this Risperdal lawsuit?
The plaintiff alleged Johnson & Johnson concealed the risk of gynecomastia in patients prescribed Risperdal. A handful of other Risperdal lawsuit filings have settled in recent years. This case is the first to allege Johnson & Johnson’s actions of hiding potential side effects of Risperdal. In addition to bring this issue to light, this particular lawsuit also served as a reminder the Johnson & Johnson has paid out $2.2 Billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations of illegally marketing Risperdal to the elderly and children.
David Kessler, former FDA commissioner, served as an expert witness for the plaintiff in this lawsuit. He testfied that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the risks associated with the drug Risperdal, but did not disclose the information demonstrating young people may be at risk of developing gynecomastia. In addition to this testimony, a 2012 report penned by Mr. Kessler stated Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit, who was responsible for marketing the drug, had violated the law in advertising Risperdal without disclosing the known side effects.
Another attorney who represented a plaintiff in an unrelated lawsuit stated his client took the drug from 2002 through 2006, beginning at age 7. At the time, Risperdal was not approved by the FDA for use in children. Johnson & Johnson hid this data from not only the FDA, but from doctors and patients’ parents. The company had several documents showing the higher risk of gynecomastia in children. J&J continued to market and sell the product despite this known research.
What are the ramifications of this Risperdal lawsuit?
Johnson & Johnson has admitted there are approximately 1,200 Risperdal lawsuit actions pending. Most are filed in Philadelphia, although they are filed throughout the United States. Some believe that with a judgment of $2.5M in compensatory damages in just one lawsuit, that this could spell out trouble for J&J in other cases. It is the hope that this case will motivate Johnson & Johnson to be more realistic when it comes to settlement negotiations in other cases.
Do you believe you are entitled to file a Risperdal lawsuit? If so, call our office today at 314-862-7222 to discuss your legal rights.