On July 1, 2016, a Philadelphia jury returned its verdict in the amount of $70 million against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which manufactures the antipsychotic medication Risperdal. The Philadelphia verdict is the largest verdict so far in the mass tort litigation involving Risperdal claims that have been consolidated in the Philadelphia court. Risperdal claims involve allegations that male patients prescribed the drug experienced excessive breast tissue growth, known as gynecomastia, as a side effect for which they were not warned.
The Philadelphia Risperdal trial began with opening statements on June 20, 2016. The July 1 Risperdal verdict exceeds the previously largest Risperdal verdict in the amount of $2.5 million that was rendered in February 2015.
The two-week Philadelphia jury trial resulted in the jury’s conclusion that the defendant had intentionally falsified, destroyed or concealed records that exposes the defendant to an additional award for noneconomic damages in an amount up to Tennessee’s cap on noneconomic damages ($750,000).
The Tennessee plaintiff in the most recent Philadelphia Risperdal trial was born in 1998. In 2003, his physician prescribed Risperdal for treatment of what was described at trial as violent oppositional behavior. By 2004, the plaintiff began to experience excessive breast growth. The plaintiff’s Risperdal complaint alleged that the defendant knew about a significant relationship between the use of Risperdal in males and the risk of excessive breast tissue growth but withheld that information from prescribers and patients. The plaintiff’s attorney introduced internal documents from the defendant, as well as the drug’s labeling, in presenting the plaintiff’s Risperdal claims to the jury.
The defense told the jury that the plaintiff’s treating physicians knew about the Risperdal-related risk but chose nonetheless to maintain the plaintiff on the drug because Risperdal was the only medication that was effective in treating the plaintiff’s serious psychiatric condition.
A spokesperson for Janssen Pharmaceuticals stated after the Philadelphia jury’s verdict that the defendant believed the verdict was against the weight of the evidence and that the defendant intended to appeal the jury’s verdict (“We believe this verdict is not justified by the evidence, and that the award is clearly excessive and far out of line with any factual assessment of actual damages. We know that dealing with disorders of the brain is very difficult, and we sympathize with the plaintiff in this case and his family.”)
The defendant, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., became part of Johnson & Johnson in 1961 and has its headquarters in Titusville, New Jersey. Source
Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic medication indicated for treatment of schizophrenia; as monotherapy or adjunctive therapy with lithium or valproate, for the treatment of acute manic or mixed episodes associated with Bipolar I Disorder; and, for treatment of irritability associated with autistic disorder. Source
If you or a loved one were injured after taking Risperdal or another drug in the United States, you should promptly find a medical malpractice lawyer (drug claim lawyer) in your state who may investigate your drug claim for you and represent you or your loved one in a claim against the pharmaceutical company, if appropriate.
Visit our website or telephone us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice/drug claim attorneys who may assist you.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.