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New Risperdal Trial Ordered

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Philadelphia, PAThe makers of Risperdal, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and its parent company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) must face a retrial of a lawsuit alleging their anti-psychotic drug Risperdal caused the plaintiff, a young man referred to as WC, to grow female-like breasts.

WC’s lawsuit had recently been denied, following a jury finding in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, that although Janssen and J&J failed to adequately warn of the risk for gynocomastia (female-like breast development) in pre-pubescent males, Risperdal didn’t cause WC’s enlarged chest.

The plaintiff had appealed the denial on the grounds that the trial court incorrectly allowed a physician’s assistant, who had treated WC, to testify as an expert concerning the cause of WC’s gynecomastia. According to the appeals court, this error entitles WC to a new trial on causation and damages.

WC’s lawsuit is part of a mass tort proceeding in Philadelphia, involving about 6,400 cases. Four previous Risperdal trials in the Philadelphia proceedings have resulted in verdicts ranging from $500,000 to $76 million. So far, J&J and Janssen have appealed all the verdicts.

According to reports from a recent securities filing, J&J and Janssen face lawsuits from 13,900 Risperdal plaintiffs across the country, alleging gynecomastia.

Risperdal, known generically as Risperidone, is an atypical antipsychotic that works by changing the activity of certain natural substances in the brain. It was approved by the FDA in 1993 for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. Risperdal Lawsuits have shown a link between Risperdal and growing male breasts, known as Risperdal gynecomastia. Other Risperdal side effects include tardive dyskinesia, high blood sugar and diabetes, stroke, heart attack and even death.

The case is: In re Risperdal Litig. (W.C. v. Janssen Pharm., Inc.), 2017 BL 406075, Pa. Super. Ct., No. 2451 EDA 2015, 11/13/17

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