Second Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit In Philadelphia Concludes With Surprising Verdict
Written by Stephen Fields on March 30, 2015
A mass tort over Risperdal breast growth in young boys is currently under way in Philadelphia as plaintiffs square off against the drug maker Janssen Pharmaceuticals. A jury recently delivered an unexpected verdict in one of the first bellwether trials.
The complaints in the mass tort make similar allegations. According to plaintiffs, Janssen and its parent company Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers that use of Risperdal may increase the risk of gynecomastia. Both companies are also being accused of knowing about the risk and intentionally hiding it. Claimants allege Janssen and J&J used false and misleading statements with regard to the drug’s safety in order to bolster Risperdal sales.
The manufacturers are now facing nearly 1,300 Risperdal breast growth lawsuit claims. Most of the claims are pending as part of the Philadelphia mass tort. The first two trials to go before a jury have ended with very different verdicts. How jurors respond to testimony and evidence in subsequent cases will be watched closely by attorneys, injured patients and their families.
If you or a family member experienced abnormal breast development while taking Risperdal, you’re not alone. Please call 1-888-210-9968 to speak with our Risperdal gynecomastia lawyers. You may be entitled to receive compensation.
Jury Finds That Risperdal Manufacturer Failed To Warn
The second trial in the Risperdal mass tort involved a lawsuit filed on behalf of William Cirba. According to the complaint, Cirba, 19 years old, began taking Risperdal years ago. He stopped taking the drug in 2007 after developing male breasts.1
His lawsuit claims that his development of abnormal breast tissue stemmed from his use of Janssen’s antipsychotic medication. His complaint also alleged the drug maker was well aware of the problem, but neglected to inform doctors or warn the public.
The jury concluded that Janssen did indeed fail to warn the health care community that Risperdal might cause gynecomastia. To that end, former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler testified in an earlier trial that the drug manufacturer should have been aware of the risk. A past study funded by the company showed up to 69% higher risk Risperdal gynecomastia among young boys taking Risperdal.
Although the jury found that Janssen failed to provide adequate warning, its verdict did not award monetary damages to Cirba. Jurors felt there was insufficient evidence proving he developed gynecomastia as a result of taking Janssen’s drug.
Jury’s Verdict Follows A $2.5 Million Risperdal Award
Cirba’s case followed a Risperdal breast growth trial in early 2015 involving a young man named Austin Pledger. Pledger began taking Risperdal in 2002, when he was 8 years old. Like Cirba, he alleged that his use of the drug caused him to develop breasts. It was for that first trial that ex-FDA chief Dr. Kessler testified that Janssen should have known about the risk.
Pledger’s lawsuit noted that his pediatric neurologist was visited by a Janssen representative more than 20 times.2 When Pledger first began taking Risperdal, the drug had not been approved for use in adolescents. It was thus illegal for the drug maker and its representatives to promote it for such use.
Like the jury in Cirba’s trial, the jury in Pledger’s trial found that Janssen failed to warn doctors about the possibility of abnormal breast growth. They awarded damages totaling $2.5 million.
Holding Janssen Accountable For Risperdal Breast Growth
The first two lawsuits to go before a jury resulted in verdicts that highlighted the drug manufacturer’s failure to warn. It’s likely that jurors in subsequent cases will come to a similar conclusion. Whether monetary damages are awarded will hinge on whether plaintiffs can prove that Risperdal caused them to develop male breasts.
We believe Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson should be held accountable for any undisclosed side effects caused by their antipsychotic drug. Thousands of adolescent boys may have been adversely affected by it – physically and psychologically. In some cases, they have undergone invasive surgery to have their excessive breast tissue removed.
If you or your son developed abnormal breast tissue after taking Risperdal, you may be able to file a claim for compensation from the manufacturer. Call 1-888-210-9968 today for a free case review.
Our Risperdal lawsuit attorneys are here to listen and help you understand your legal options. There is no obligation to hire our firm or file a lawsuit. If you decide to do so, there are no out-of-pocket legal fees unless we recover compensation for you.
You deserve to be fairly compensated if you were harmed by Janssen’s drug. Call our offices to find out the filing deadline in your state and receive the legal representation you need to pursue a Risperdal settlement.