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Risperdal Lawsuits beyond Statute of Limitations?

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Philadelphia, PAWhen Lucas was thirteen he was prescribed Risperdal to treat autism, but the antipsychotic drug was only approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in adults. “About a year or so after taking the drug, I got breast lumps and breast-like features,” he says. “I’m now 20 years old and only recently heard about this side effect. My mum saw the commercial on TV.”

Lucas (not his real name) doesn’t know if he has a case because he hasn’t yet spoken with an attorney. He recently learned about the statute of limitations, so Lucas is hesitant to seek legal help, believing he doesn’t have much chance of filing a Risperdal lawsuit.

Marty (not his real name) has similar concerns. In an e-mail to LawyersandSettlements.com, he explained that in the early 90s he was prescribed Risperdal. Marty claims the drug caused a growth in the chest area that he had surgically removed in 2001.
“This injury has caused such an extreme amount of ridicule and pain that I am still experiencing years after the surgery,” he said.
Marty didn’t know that Risperdal could have caused the growth - gynecomastia - until mid-2014, when he read in his local newspaper that Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Pharmaceuticals had agreed to settle such claims, and they settled one lawsuit in his city for $1.75 million.

When Marty linked Risperdal with his “growth,” he sought legal representation from several firms, which all ended up declining him due to the statute of limitations. But he is still hopeful. “I read some online blogs that said the statute of limitations can be extended based on many different factors such as the fact that I am attempting to take action within two years of me learning about Johnson & Johnson’s fault,” he wrote by e-mail. “I am hoping a firm can reach out to J&J on my behalf, requesting an out-of-court settlement, or that I can obtain a jury trial in front of my peers where I feel they will have compassion and find in my favor.”

Marty is correct in that statutes can be reduced or extended under certain circumstances depending on whether the cause of action involves a contract, personal injury, libel, fraud, or other claim. As well, there are certain issues that stop the statutes clock, such as recovered memory by sexual abuse victims. And there is “Tolling the Statute.”

A statute is tolled when one of the parties lacks the legal capacity to do an act at the time the action takes place. A child or a person with a mental illness is regarded as being incapable of initiating a legal action on his or her own behalf. Therefore, the time limit will be tolled until some fixed time after the disability has been removed. For example, once a child reaches the age of majority, the counting of time will be resumed.

Both Lucas and Marty were diagnosed with a mental illness. And Lucas is only 20 years old.

In the Risperdal lawsuits in Philadephia before Judge Arnold New, J&J said the cases should be dismissed because they were filed after the statute of limitations had expired. But there have been some cases when the courts had to reconsider time limits. If someone with a mental illness does not know the cause of the injury (such as Risperdal gynecomastia), the statute of limitations can be suspended until he or she discovers that the injury was caused by the defendant’s conduct.

Writing for injurylawyer-news.com, Steve Cid points out that, “in the case of Risperdal, one of the side effects of the drug is weight gain. The attorneys may argue that it was impossible for a doctor to diagnose gynecomastia in the presence of pronounced weight gain.”

As of December 2015, more than 1,600 cases await trial in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
In 2006 i took Depakote, i know it is not Risperdal however i developed "man breasts" in 4 months. Going from 150 pounds to 200 pounds during that time frame. I was in the city of Orange thats why im contacting you. If theres anything we can do please let me know.
Sincerely, Enrique III.

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