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A New York man who alleges that he suffered gynecomastia, or growth of female breast tissue, after taking Risperdal as a child was awarded $1 million.
The Risperdal verdict hit drug makers Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals after an explosion of litigation in Pennsylvania over the emotion regulation drug.
According to the plaintiff, who is now 24, he began to experience rapid breast growth after being prescribed Risperdal for psychosis when he was only nine years old.
The plaintiff recently had surgery to remove the breast tissue, which would have been permanent otherwise. The plaintiff told reporters at News Channel 13 that he is still self-conscious though, “ou know thinking people are judging me…So it’s still something I feel bad about.”
“It can really like mess up how you view yourself and how you view the world,” continued the plaintiff.
The Risperdal verdict includes a failure-to-warn allegation as well as $500,00 for past and $500,000 for present pain and suffering. The plaintiff said that he was teased relentlessly as a child and currently sees a therapist for depression.
The plaintiff told reporters that after being convinced by his family to sue the drug makers, he found his testimony during trial helped him find closure.
“I feel like I have a new beginning like I can be who I am with caring about whose going to judge me,” the plaintiff told the news station.
“Contrary to the impression the plaintiffs’ attorneys have attempted to create over the course of this litigation,” said a spokesperson for Janssen after the verdict was issued. “RISPERDAL® (risperidone) is an important FDA-approved medicine that, when used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, continues to help millions of patients with mental illnesses and neurodevelopmental conditions.”
However, the drug has been subject to a landslide of litigation after patients began complaining of gynecomastia and other side effects, like weight gain, drowsiness, and seizures, among others. Originally, the drug was developed and approved for use with adults to treat schizophrenia. The plaintiffs allege that the drug makers hid and even falsified records to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to market Risperdal to children.
Although gynecomastia is a rare condition and was marketed as a rare side effect of the drug, nearly one in 20 patients suffered breast tissue growth, according to the plaintiff who received this Risperdal verdict.
In 2016, another plaintiff alleging the drug caused growth of female breast tissue was awarded a $70 million Risperdal verdict. Litigation in Pennsylvania has been centralized into a mass tort action. The drug makers have also settled a number of Risperdal lawsuits.
Risperdal Side Effects Warnings
Plaintiffs in Risperdal lawsuits allege that the drug makers failed to warn them and their doctors about the serious side effects of taking the medication. They say that in an effort to profit from the distribution of Risperdal, drug makers ignored or falsified records to push the drug on children.
Side effects of Risperdal include:
- Hormonal changes
- Breast growth in males
- Weight gain
- Involuntary movements
If you or a loved one have suffered side effects after taking Risperdal and are considering legal action, contact the attorneys at McDonald Worley for a free case evaluation.