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Don’t Read Anything into $70 Million Risperdal Settlement: Attorney

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Philadelphia, PAAny assumption that Johnson & Johnson (J&J) settled a recent Risperdal lawsuit just prior to trial while peering through the rear-view mirror at a large plaintiff verdict from July is pure speculation, according to the attorney representing the plaintiffs. Still, with a $70 million judgement awarded to a Risperdal gynecomastia plaintiff just four months ago, such an assumption is understandable.

The settlement, which was not disclosed and remains confidential, was described by the attorney representing the plaintiffs as “a one-off,” adding that there was no indication from Johnson & Johnson or Janssen Pharmaceuticals – the J&J unit responsible for Risperdal – that there was any taste on the defendant’s part to resolve Risperdal litigation globally.

Even though there are more than 2,000 Risperdal cases pending as a mass tort in Philadelphia, the cases will continue to be tried individually. At least, for now.

Risperdal is an antipsychotic that was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat schizophrenia in adults. Since 1993, when Risperdal first appeared on the market, indications have expanded to include use in children and young adults for ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome, amongst other indications.

In the recently-settled Risperdal side effects lawsuit the underage plaintiff, identified only as N.F. in court documents to protect his identity, had been prescribed Risperdal for the treatment of Asperger’s and other conditions at the age of 7. The plaintiff remained on branded Risperdal for a year, before switching to a generic version of Risperdal on which he remained for a few years after that.

It was alleged in the Risperdal lawsuit that the plaintiff developed male breast tissue as the result of his use of Risperdal – a condition known as Risperdal gynecomastia. There are other Risperdal side effects as well, including Risperdal diabetes. But it’s Risperdal and Growing Male Breasts that remains as a particularly vexing side effect that can impact an adolescent’s self-esteem and emotional state. Often, surgery is required to correct the issue.

Johnson & Johnson continues to stand behind its product. “We will continue to defend this litigation and will try cases where appropriate,” said J&J spokeswoman Jessica Castles, in a statement released after the settlement was announced. “It’s important to point out that Risperdal, when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, continues to help millions of patients with mental illnesses and neurodevelopmental conditions.”

The Risperdal lawsuit is N.F. et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., case number 13500998 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

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READER COMMENTS

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I was prescribed Risperdal by my psych doctor & it made me feel like I was choking. She eventually took me off the med.

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