Janssen Pharmaceuticals Guilty in Risperdal Trial – $70 Million Verdict Issued
July, 2016 – A Philadelphia jury has sided with a Tennessee boy who blamed the development of female breasts, a condition called gynecomastia, on Risperdal. The trial began on June 20th and ended with a $70 million verdict against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of corporate giant Johnson & Johnson.
“It’s about time they [Janssen] put an end to their games. In my view, it’s outrageous that they continue to defend these cases,” said Stephen Sheller, the attorney involved in the matter.
In this case, the boy began taking Risperdal in 2003 for psychiatric problems and began showing signs of female breast development in 2004. At that time the drug had only been approved as a treatment for schizophrenia in adults and the warning label indicated gynecomastia as a rare side effect, occurring in less than one in 1,000 patients. In 2005, the condition was noted in the boys’ medical report along with weight gain.
The claim also alleged that Janssen attempted to obscure evidence that Risperdal could cause gynecomastia. Lawyers for the boy argued that scientists knew the drug caused spikes in prolactin, a hormone that can cause the condition but failed to properly warn consumers and the medical community of these findings.
There are currently over 1,700 Risperdal cases pending in Philadelphia.
Janssen says the verdict is “excessive” and plans to appeal.
Johnson & Johnson is currently facing huge verdicts and lawsuits of their own, with a most recent order to pay $55 million to a South Dakota woman who believed Talcum Powder caused her ovarian cancer. They currently face over 1,200 pending lawsuits over similar claims.
A study conducted by a research team at the University of British Columbia reviewed the data of more than 400,000 males between the ages of 15 and 25 and concluded that the young men were four times more likely to suffer breast-related side effects, also known as gynecomastia than those who did not use the drug.
“Our study showed a strong association between risperidone use and gynecomastia in young males.”
“Our study showed a strong association between risperidone use and gynecomastia in young males. Clinicians who are prescribing risperidone to this demographic may need to consider this adverse event in their therapeutic decision-making process.” – Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, August 2015.
Forbes Magazine reported August 29, 2015 (Janssen Pharmaceuticals Accused of Hiding Risperdal’s Breast Effect In Boys“) allegations that Janssen hid evidence back in 2003 that would have cautioned clinicians prescribing the drug to the possibility of an increased level of prolactin, a hormone-regulated in the brain which promotes milk production.
A study conducted in December 2012, to investigate the “long-term treatment effects of risperidone on prolactin levels and prolactin-related side effects in pubertal boys with autism spectrum disorders and disruptive behavior disorders”, found that half of the males taking the drug developed gynecomastia compared to only a fifth of males not taking the drug.
“Gynecomastia, or female breast growth, in a young boy or middle-aged man, is probably one of the most significant injuries you can imagine.” – Tim Clark, Attorney, Sanders Phillips Grossman
MORE ABOUT GYNECOMASTIA
Gynecomastia is the growth of male breasts, possibly with pain or nipple discharge. Adolescent males who develop gynecomastia may suffer devastating psychological and social damages. For this reason, many doctors recommend surgery to remove the breast growths either by liposuction or with a mastectomy, both involving removal of extra tissue from the male’s breasts.
WHY AREN’T FEMALES INCLUDED IN THIS LAWSUIT?
In our pursuit of defective drug and defective medical device litigations, we have to fight a difficult battle. We must not only prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer, most of the time that they were aware of the defect and failed to warn about it, but we must also prove that the drug or device was the cause of the specific injury. The necessity to prove this causal link between drug/device and injury means that we must rely on scientific evidence that a particular drug or device causes a particular injury. In the case of this particular litigation, Risperdal, all the scientific evidence and proof that we have involved Risperdal causing gynecomastia, which is a condition specific to males. Unfortunately, that means at this point we do not have the scientific evidence or proof relating to injuries in females caused by Risperdal necessary to pursue a claim for females.
DO I HAVE A CASE?
Lawsuits allege the manufacturers marketed Risperdal as appropriate for mental health disorders in boys before it was approved by the FDA in 2007.
If you or your child took the medication and experienced breast growth before the age of 21, you may be entitled to significant compensation for the pain and suffering endured.
Symptoms may include breast growth, puffy or enlarged nipples, painful breasts, nipple discharge, mastectomy, or male breast removal.
As a result of the drug maker’s failure to adequately warn about the serious and devastating side effects from Risperdal and Invega, financial compensation may be available through a breast growth lawsuit. A successful outcome on your claim could entitle you to damages for medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of consortium.
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to pursue claims for Risperidone, females, or male side effects not related to the breast.
WHAT WILL AN ATTORNEY COST ME?
We represent our clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that you pay no attorney fees until we win your claim. If we are unable to successfully resolve your claim, you are not obligated to pay attorneys’ fees.
ABOUT SANDERS PHILLIPS GROSSMAN
Sanders Phillips Grossman has been holding pharmaceutical companies responsible for injuring individuals by their defective drugs and devices for over 30 years. Defective drugs are pharmaceuticals with side effects that potentially harm, injure, or kill the patient to the point that they outweigh the drug’s intended benefits. Defective devices, such as faulty prosthetics, implants, pacemakers, or surgical instruments can harm patients when the product is defective in the manufacturing process, design, or marketing strategy.
Pharmaceutical companies are some of the largest, wealthiest, and most influential corporate entities in the world. Sanders Phillips Grossman and its predecessors have recovered over one billion dollars for injured consumers. Our firm’s history in dealing with drug and medical device injury claims has allowed us to take leadership roles in many of the national defective drug and device litigations.
Nationally recognized as a leading plaintiff’s law firm, we handle cases in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
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