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Risperdal Lawsuits: One for Plaintiff, One (Partial) for Defendant

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Atlanta, GAAlison is helping her 73-year-old grandfather with a Risperdal lawsuit. She recently discovered that he developed breasts after taking the drug for bipolar disorder. And Tina filed a claim when she learned that her teenage son developed breasts after taking Risperdal for autism two years ago.

In February, a jury awarded Austin Pledger $2.5 million after deciding that Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer, hid the risks of gynecomastia. This was the first bellwether trial of a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit. Pledger was prescribed Risperdal for autism in 2002, when he was seven years old. He took the drug until 2006 and subsequently developed size 44 DD breasts, according to the lawsuit (Case No. A-196444). Risperdal was not approved for children during that time.

Incredibly, J&J paid out just two years ago $2.2 billion for illegally marketing Risperdal to children and the elderly. Pledger’s lawyer said that J&J “hid data from the FDA, prescribing doctors and parents. Documents showed they knew there was much higher percentage of children getting gynecomastia than they admitted,” according to the Wall Street Journal (Feb. 24, 2015).

According to court documents, Risperdal and gynecomastia is not that rare, as was previously believed. At the beginning of April, there were more than 1,300 lawsuits pending in Pennsylvania’s Risperdal litigation. All the claims were brought on behalf of individuals who allege that they developed breasts and other serious complications related to Risperdal (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, Case Number 100300296). And all the claims accuse J&J of:

• Concealing the risks associated with the drug

• Failing to warn doctors and patients about the complications that could occur with its use

• Improperly marketing Risperdal for off-label uses, including pediatric indications prior to their 2006 regulatory approval

• Concealing data that suggests Risperdal could cause a patient to experience elevated levels of prolactin, a hormone that is related to female breast growth and the development of gynecomastia in men and boys

The Pennsylvania litigation’s second Risperdal bellwether trial recently concluded. The plaintiff in this case, 19-year-old William Cirba of Pennsylvania, was prescribed the antipsychotic drug as a child to treat oppositional defiant disorder. Like Pledger’s case, Risperdal had not been approved when Cirba was prescribed it. Although the jury agreed that Janssen (a J&J subsidiary) failed to adequately warn of the risks associated with Risperdal, they did not find a clear association with Cirba’s condition. Consequently, Cirba was not awarded any damages.

To date, the combined criminal plea and civil settlement regarding Risperdal has totaled more than $1.67 billion that J&J must pay for misbranding its drug.

READ ABOUT RISPERDAL LAWSUITS

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Caroline I beg to differ with your statement. I personally took risperdal from 2003-2006. I lost my biological mother and was placed on it for depression at the time I was prescribed it I was in foster care and had no one to speak for me. I'm sure had someone genuinely knew what the medication was capable of doing to me I wouldn't have been taking it. It changed my life and not for the good. I was made fun of because of my breast as a high school athlete and it wasn't fun!

Posted by

on
Every drug out there has warnings, and since at least 2000 there have been what is now known as "black-box" warnings. People have to stop using excuses like "well I trusted the doctor," an start taking some responsibility for what they put into their bodies and especially in the bodies of their children! It's no secret they've been giving kids meth "legally" since the 80's. And it just got worse from there.

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