According to Court documents plaintiff Jamal Adeghe was ten years of age when he was first prescribed Risperdal as treatment for a variety of symptoms. That was in 2003. A year later, Adeghe was diagnosed with Risperdal gynecomastia, which in lay terms is the growth of glandular breast tissue, or male breasts. Court heard that his prescription was stopped soon after, although he was compelled to return to using Risperdal on two additional occasions over the next ten years for depressive symptoms, impulse control and aggression.
It was three years ago, in 2014 that Adeghe channeled his Risperdal and growing male breasts issue into a Risperdal lawsuit against manufacturer Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., together with other defendants. Janssen, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, sought a removal of the case for reasons of diversity jurisdiction to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Adeghe, in turn filed a second amended complaint alleging negligence, strict product liability, manufacturing defect, failure to warn, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty, fraudulent misrepresentation and concealment, negligent misrepresentation, fraud and deceit, and violation of New York General Business Law §§ 349 and 350.
The plaintiff, in his Risperdal side effects lawsuit, also secured Dr. Barry Bercu as his medical expert. The pediatric endocrinologist testified that in his view Risperdal (risperidone) represented a substantial contributing factor to the plaintiff’s issue associated with Risperdal and growing male breasts. Bercu also held that medical literature showed that Risperdal can cause gynecomastia.
Janssen was by this time the only remaining defendant in the Risperdal side effects lawsuit, and not only moved a motion to exclude the testimony of the plaintiff’s expert witness, but also for summary judgement on all claims alleged by the plaintiff.
In the end, Janssen was granted summary judgement on failure-to-warn, and claims of express breach of warranty. Judge Lorna G. Schofield, however, preserved the plaintiff’s remaining claims and also denied the defendant’s motion to exclude the expert testimony of Bercu.
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“[Bercu] reviewed six medical studies that addressed causes of gynecomastia, gynecomastia in adolescents or the relationship between gynecomastia and drugs,” the judge opined. “One study reviewed the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting database, which, according to Dr. Bercu, ‘clearly demonstrated the association with Risperdal and gynecomastia.’
“While Dr. Bercu noted that other possible causes of gynecomastia include puberty, obesity and marijuana, he reasonably dismissed them as a cause or the only cause in this case,” the judge concluded.
The Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit is Jamal Adeghe v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Case No. 16-2235, in US District Court, Southern District of New York.