A Pennsylvania Common Pleas Court judge will dismiss more than 250 Risperdal gynecomastia cases if the state’s Superior Court upholds an earlier ruling regarding the statute of limitations governing such claims. For now, all 257 lawsuits are stayed until the appeals court renders its decision.
The cases are among more than 1,400 Risperdal lawsuits pending in a Mass Tort proceeding now underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, hundreds of which were filed on behalf of men and boys who allegedly experienced excessive breast growth due to the antipsychotic drug. In January, the judge overseeing the litigation dismissed a bellwether case filed in 2014 by a gynecomastia plaintiff who had been prescribed Risperdal in 1997 to treat anger management issues. In tossing the case on statute of limitations grounds, the judge determined that plaintiff should have been able to make the connection between Risperdal and his injuries by June 2009.
“If the appellate courts affirm this court’s analysis in Winter regarding the accrual date for Risperdal claims under Pennsylvania’s discovery rule, summary judgment will be entered in the cases,” the Judge said on Tuesday, according to a report from Law360.com. “The entry of summary judgment will not occur until after all appellate proceedings have concluded in Winter, including any proceedings before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.”
A plaintiffs’ attorney interviewed by Law360.com was confident that the Superior Court would overturn the trial court’s decision.
“We remain confident that Winter was decided in error, and will be overturned on appeal, in which case the list of cases will be restored to active status,” he said.
All of the Risperdal gynecomastia cases pending in Pennsylvania claim that Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit concealed evidence linking the drug to excessive male breast growth, and failed to properly warn patients and doctors of this risk. They further claim that the companies improperly marketed the medication for off-label pediatric uses before any such indications were approved in 2006.
In February, the Pennsylvania litigation concluded its first trial of a Risperdal male breast growth lawsuit, after the plaintiff was awarded $2.5 million. A second trial ended in March with a win for Johnson & Johnson and Janssen. A third trial will begin in October.
If you or someone you care about developed gynecomastia while taking Risperdal, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP. To arrange for your free case review, call our office at (888) 994-5772.