Another Risperdal Gynecomastia Trial Underway in Philadelphia
Another Risperdal gynecomastia plaintiff is presenting his case to a jury in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Opening arguments began on December 2nd in the Court of Common Pleas, with the Plaintiff’s attorney telling jurors that the Nebraska man would never have taken Risperdal had the drug’s manufacturers provided adequate warning regarding its potential to cause excessive male breast growth.
The Plaintiff the center of this Risperdal lawsuit began taking the drug as a 7-year-old child to treat psychological problems. At the time, the antipsychotic medication had not been approved for use in children. He developed female-like breasts as an adolescent, and claims that Risperdal was directly responsible for his gynecomastia. When the Plaintiff initiated treatment with Risperdal in 2004, the label characterized the condition as a rare side effect which occurred in roughly 1 in 1,000 patients.
The case marks the sixth time a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit has gone to trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. In four of those trials, juries have awarded plaintiffs damages amounting to $2.5 million, $1.75 million, $500,000 and $70 million. The jury in a fifth case declined to award any damages to the plaintiff, after determining that Risperdal did not cause his breast growth. However, the panel did find that the drug’s manufacturers failed to adequately warn patients and doctors about the its risks.
At least nine more Risperdal gynecomastia cases are scheduled for trial in Philadelphia, where more than 2,000 claims involving the drug’s alleged side effects have been centralized in a mass tort proceeding. A California litigation that includes about 300 similar claims will also begin sending cases to juries in the coming months.
In addition to product liability claims, the manufacturers of Risperdal have also faced criminal charges from the U.S. Department of Justice over the methods used to market this and other medications. In November of 2013, Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and pay $2.2 billion to settle the case. Among other things, the companies had been accused of illegally marketing Risperdal for off-label uses in children and the elderly.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP continues to investigate lawsuits involving Risperdal and gynecomastia. If you are interested in joining this litigation, please call 1-877-779-1414.