• First Risperdal Trial Ends With $2.5 Million Verdict Against J&J
  • March 24, 2015
  • Law Firm: Lieff Cabraser Heimann Bernstein LLP - San Francisco Office
  • A Philadelphia jury returned a $2.5 million verdict against healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson for a 20-year-old autistic man from Alabama who allegedly developed large breasts as a teenager while prescribed the antipsychotic medication Risperdal. The lawsuit charged that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers of the distressing side effects that Risperdal causes, concealing from officials the dangerous and defective risks involved when taking the prescribed medication.

    Federal law requires that prescription drug manufacturers fully and accurately disclose information in relation to adverse effects of their medications on the package insert and other labeling, and to include adequate warnings concerning these risks in promotional materials for the medications.

    This is the first case to go to a jury verdict, in which the plaintiff charged that Risperdal caused him to develop gynecomastia, the growth of abnormal breast tissue in males. Thousands of Risperdal lawsuits have been filed against J&J alleging a similar injury.

    Previously in 2013, Johnson and Johnson paid $2.2 billion to settle federal and state criminal and civil allegations related to the illegal marketing of Risperdal to children and the elderly, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The settlement money was paid solely to the government.

    "The bodies of these young men have been permanently mutilated by Risperdal. In a young man who is already isolated by his challenges caused by mental issues, the growth of women's breasts on his body in adolescent and teenage years is absolutely devastating," stated Lieff Cabraser attorney Wendy R. Fleishman. "As alleged in the complaint, Janssen [a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson] knew Risperdal stimulated male breast development and failed to adequately warn physicians, parents, and the adolescents prescribed Risperdal of this side effect. So when the moms and dads gave their consent to add this prescription for their sons, they knew nothing about the potential horrible harm it could cause."