On July 1, 2016, the fifth case to go to trial in Philadelphia’s mass tort litigation involving the antipsychotic drug Risperdal resulted in a $70 million verdict against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.
In the case, the family of Andrew Yount claimed that Risperdal caused their adolescent son to develop female breasts. Andrew, who was born in 1998, began taking the drug manufactured by Janssen in 2003 to medicate his severe psychiatric problems, which were later identified in the litigation as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder. At the time, the FDA had only approved Risperdal for the treatment of adults suffering from schizophrenia.
Within one year of use, Andrew experienced excessive breast growth and by 2005, his medical report revealed that he suffered from gynecomastia, a condition that is described as the development of abnormally large breasts in males.
Yount’s family, along with thousands of other plaintiffs, filed suit against Janssen alleging that the pharmaceutical company hid data and failed to warn about the serious side effects that the use of Risperdal could have on children and adolescents, including that there was a significant link between the drug and gynecomastia.
This verdict follows another plaintiffs’ victory in a trial in the Philadelphia mass tort litigation. In November 2015, a jury ordered Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.8 million to 21-year-old Nicholas Murray after he developed gynecomastia from the use of Risperdal.
The case is: A.Y. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 1304-02094 (Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pa.)
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