Fifth Risperdal Gynecomastia Plaintiff Awarded Largest Verdict So Far
A Tennessee teenager has been awarded $70 million by the Pennsylvania jury hearing his Risperdal lawsuit. Court records indicate that the judgment is the largest so far levied against Johnson & Johnson in a case involving the drug’s potential to cause gynecomastia.
According to his lawsuit, the 16-year-old plaintiff began taking Risperdal in 2003 to treat a psychiatric disorder. At that time, the drug had not been approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children. He began experiencing excessive breast growth by 2004.
Following a two week trial, a jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas unanimously found for the plaintiff, ruling that Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit were negligent in failing to adequately warn patients about the link between Risperdal and male breast growth. In addition, the panel found that Janssen “intentionally falsified, destroyed or concealed records.”
According to a report from The Legal Intelligencer, the Plaintiff’s attorney relied on the drug’s label and internal documents from Janssen that purportedly proved the company worked to limit the medical community’s understanding of Risperdal’s risks. The Plaintiff’s team also focused on a reanalysis of a 2003 medical article published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, which they cited as evidence that Janssen had manipulated data pertaining to Risperdal. They also argued that the reanalysis itself had been manipulated.
“This jury saw a full-blown version, brilliantly presented by the plaintiff’s team,” one of the attorneys told The Legal Intelligencer. “It was drilled home in this trial … and that had very much to do with the verdict.”
Court records indicate that more than 1,750 Risperdal lawsuits have been filed in the Pennsylvania mass tort program underway in Philadelphia. Gynecomastia claims began going to trial last year, with three previous juries awarding plaintiffs $2.5 million, $1.75 million (reduced to $680,000 on appeal), and $500,000. While a fourth jury also found that Johnson & Johnson had failed to provide adequate gynecomastia warnings, they did not award damages to that plaintiff because they were unable to conclude that Risperdal had caused his condition.
A sixth trial involving Risperdal and gynecomastia is expected to begin in Pennsylvania later this month. According to The Legal Intelligencer, the parties are not conducting any negotiations at this time on a possible global settlement of the litigation.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP continues to offer free legal reviews to individuals who may have developed gynecomastia while using Risperdal. To learn more, please call 877-779-1414 today.