Yet another Risperdal gynecomastia plaintiff is arguing his case before a Pennsylvania jury. According to court documents, the state’s mass tort proceeding has commenced its third such trial in Philadelphia, where opening statements were heard last Thursday.
The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas is home to at least 1,500 Risperdal lawsuits that have been consolidated by the Court’s Complex Litigation Center. All of the cases included in the litigation were filed on behalf of patients who developed gynecomastia and other complications allegedly related to their use of antipsychotic drug.
The lawsuit now at trial was filed on behalf of a young man who was 11 at the time he was prescribed Risperdal off-label to relieve symptoms associated with Tourette’s syndrome. He took the medication for three years, and according to his complaint, experienced significant weight gain allegedly related to its use. It wasn’t until he stopped using Risperdal and lost weight that the plaintiff’s gynecomastia was discovered. At age 18, he underwent corrective surgery to remove female-like breasts.
During Thursday’s opening statements, the plaintiff’s Risperdal attorney blasted Janssen Pharmaceuticals for allegedly promoting the medication for unapproved pediatric indications.
“The drug was never, ever approved for children with Tourette’s, but Janssen Pharmaceuticals had different ideas, and that affected what they were willing to tell doctors about the drug and what its real risks were,” he said.
The plaintiff contends that Janssen and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, also concealed Risperdal’s risks from doctors, including its true potential to raise prolactin levels. Prolactin is a hormone that plays a role in female breast development and lactation. High levels can also cause excess breast growth in men and boy.
Earlier this year, two other Risperdal gynecomastia cases were convened in Pennsylvania. The first concluded in February, with the jury awarding $2.5 million to the plaintiff. No damages were awarded in the second trial because jurors were unable to conclude that Risperdal had actually caused the plaintiff’s excessive breast growth. However, the panel did find that Janssen failed to provide adequate gynecomastia warnings to patients and doctors.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is representing Risperdal gynecomastia plaintiffs, and our attorneys will continue to monitor this trial closely. If you are interested in joining this litigation, please call our Firm at (888) 994-5772 to schedule a free review of your case.