The plaintiff at the center of an important Risperdal lawsuit has been denied a damage award by the Pennsylvania jury hearing his case, after the panel found he hadn’t proven the antipsychotic drug was the reason he developed a condition called gynecomastia. However, the verdict did hold some good news for those involved in similar cases, as the jury also found that Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit failed to warn that Risperdal could cause the disorder, which is characterized by excessive breast growth in men and boys.
The trial, which concluded late last month, was the second involving gynecomastia convened in the Risperdal mass tort litigation currently underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The proceeding is home to more 1,300 product liability claims filed on behalf of Risperdal patients who suffered serious complications allegedly related to its use.
As a bellwether trial, this case may provide insight into how juries could rule in similar lawsuits involving Risperdal and gynecomastia. According to court documents, the plaintiff began taking Risperdal as a child in 2007 for an unapproved indication, and allegedly developed a hormonal imbalance that led to excessive breast development. Like other Risperdal lawsuit plaintiffs, he claimed that Janssen concealed data which suggested the drug could cause gynecomastia in boys, and failed to warn patients and doctors of this risk.
The trial concluded roughly a month after the jury hearing the litigation’s first bellwether gynecomastia case awarded $2.5 million in damages to another man who also took Risperdal as a child for an off-label indication. That jury found that Janssen’s warnings were inadequate, but it also agreed that Risperdal had caused the plaintiff to develop size 44 DD breasts.
Despite the disappointing finding on causation in the second trial, the attorney who represented both plaintiffs insisted the jury had still dealt the defense a “significant setback.”
“Within a month, Janssen has twice been found to have failed to warn physicians treating mentally disabled and adolescents of the risks of this powerful anti-psychotic drug,” he told Reuters after the verdict was announced.
More bellwether trials involving Risperdal and gynecomastia are scheduled to get underway in Pennsylvania this year. The next will be convened on May 11th.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now representing numerous Risperdal lawsuit plaintiffs who allegedly experienced male breast development as a consequence of taking the antipsychotic medication. If you would like to learn more about filing your own claim, please call to arrange for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.