If you have developed female-like breasts after taking Risperdal, then you may be eligible for a Risperdal Lawsuit. You have a strong precedent for settlement noting that Johnson & Johnson has settled over 80 similar cases (for undisclosed amounts) from 2012 to date.
Risperdal, also called risperidone, is an oral antipsychotic drug associated with severe side effects. It was manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. One of the most significant side effects of Risperdal is the development of breasts in young men, a condition called gynecomastia. Some of the kids treated using Risperdal have sustained potentially permanent side effects, and despite going through multiple surgeries, they require long-term medical attention.
Manufactured and marketed by Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen
Pharmaceuticals, Risperdal received the US FDA’s approval in 1993 as the treatment for schizophrenia, mixed episodes of bipolar disorders and acute mania.
This drug is also prescribed for treatment of behavioral disorders like dementia, depression, attention deficit disorder (ADD) as well as autism and anxiety. In these scenarios, however, it is commonly marketed in an ‘off-label’ capacity meaning that it hasn’t been tested nor approved by the FDA.
Risperdal Side Effects
Although Risperdal proves to be very effective in treating these serious disorders, it comes with several side effects. The side effects include:
- Production of prolactin,
- Tardive Dyskinesia
- pituitary tumors
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
- Increased risk of sudden death from heart attack
- Suicide and suicidal thoughts
- Diabetes, hyperglycemia and other blood sugar side effects
- Rapid and extreme weight gain
- Bone loss
- Increased mortality in the elderly with dementia and related psychosis
From the federal lawsuits and class actions, Johnson & Johnson devised an aggressive marketing campaign. The campaign aimed to get doctors to prescribe Risperdal as a medication for unapproved or ‘off-label’ use. Through the somewhat unethical campaign, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals paid provided incentives and kickbacks to doctors and nursing homes to prescribe Risperdal to their patients.
Risperdal Lawsuit: Latest Updates
2017: Byrd V. Johnson & Johnson
In October 2017, Shaquil Byrd of Troy, New York was awarded a $1 Million settlement by the jury. Byrd received Risperdal when he was nine, and he developed gynecomastia fast. He was a victim of bullying as a result, and his breasts had to be surgically removed in 2014.
2016: $70 Million Risperdal Award
This amount was awarded to Andrew Yount in July 2016 by a Philadelphia jury. This award was given after the teen blamed Risperdal for his female-sized breasts. This is, by far the largest award in Philadelphia litigation over a drug and its side effects. According to Andrew’s lawyers, he stated using Risperdal at age five as treatment of a psychotic disorder. While taking the treatment, there was no warning of breast development as the side effect. The lawyers further argued that Johnson & Johnson hid evidence, the results of the study from the doctors. By failing to warn the teenager and his family, the court awarded him the $70 Million for damages, and emotional distress caused.
2015: Austin Pledger V. Johnson & Johnson
Austin Pledger, an Alabama resident, was the first victim to win a Risperdal jury trial case in February 2015. He was first prescribed Risperdal in 2002. He sued Johnson & Johnson after he developed size 46DD breasts claiming that the company didn’t disclose or warm about this side effect properly. The court found Johnson & Johnson guilty, and Austin
2013: $2.2 Billion Settlement with Justice Dept. for Misleading Marketing
In November 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $2.2 Billion in criminal and civil fines to the Justice Department for illegal/misleading marketing. For this settlement, it was agreed that Janssen pleads guilty to misbranding Risperdal for unapproved uses and for paying kickbacks to Omnicare Inc., the largest pharmacy serving nursing homes.
2012: State of Texas V. Johnson & Johnson
In January 2012, the State of Texas won a case against Johnson & Johnson in which J&J was accused of illegally marketing Risperdal to the state’s residents on Medicaid. The Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, said, Johnson & Johnson’s scheme to profit from the Medicaid program by overstating the safety and effectiveness of an expensive drug and improperly influencing officials ended up costing taxpayers millions of dollars. As a result, J&J agreed to pay a sum of $158 Million to the State of Texas.