Pennsylvania Judge Keeps $2.5 Million Risperdal Verdict

Home » Elderly Abuse » Pennsylvania Judge Keeps $2.5 Million Risperdal Verdict

A Pennsylvania judge has upheld his initial $2.5 million Risperdal verdict in a 2015 case, even though pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson requested a new trial.

The Risperdal lawsuit was filed several years ago, and reached its $2.5 million Risperdal verdict in February 2015 against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a prominent subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

The judge, from the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, denied Janssen’s request for a new trial, instead choosing to uphold the original Risperdal verdict from 2015. 

The Risperdal lawsuit was filed over significant complications with the medication. According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Austin P. was only seven years old when he began taking Risperdal back in 2002 in order to treat certain behavioral symptoms of autism. Austin continued taking Risperdal over the course of five years.

Risperdal lawsuitsRisperdal is meant to be used as an antipsychotic, though at the time Austin began taking it, Risperdal had only been approved for use in adults, the lawsuit claims. Indeed, it wasn’t until 2006 that Risperdal was approved to treat children with autism.

Unfortunately, after he began taking Risperdal, Austin suffered severe physical complications, including gynecomastia, or the development of female-like breasts. When Austin was initially treated with the medication, its warning label noted the risk of gynecomastia, but said that it was considered rare. However, Risperdal’s label was updated in 2006 to warn that around 2.3 percent of pediatric patients taking Risperdal had developed gynecomastia—a far cry from “rare.”

Had Austin and his family known about the risk of gynecomastia, and had Janssen given adequate warning about this risk, they could have chosen a safer alternative and avoided this complication altogether.

Risperdal Basics

Risperdal (also known by its generic name, risperidone) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in 1993 as a treatment for schizophrenia. Since then, it has also been approved for the treatment of bipolar mania, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and certain symptoms of autism, and has become one of the most popular antipsychotics available today.

Risperdal is what is known as an atypical antipsychotic, which work to treat conditions by helping to restore the balance of various natural substances in the brain.

Complications of Risperdal Include Gynecomastia

Any medication will come with certain minor side effects, and Risperdal is no exception. Mild side effects of Risperdal include involuntary motion, dizziness, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, and skin rashes. Mild side effects for any medication, are expected to go away on their own without too much trouble and without further treatment.

Unfortunately, the more serious side effects of Risperdal are risks which some patients claim have not been adequately warned about to the patients, their families, or the medical community. Risperdal has been linked with a serious side effect known as gynecomastia. 

Essentially, gynecomastia is the abnormal growth of male breast tissue. Hundreds of boys and young men who have been prescribed Risperdal to treat their mental and mood disorders have developed male breast growth as a side effect of the medication. In some cases, boys had such excessive breast tissue grown that the breasts became the size of “D” cups. Breast growth from Risperdal became such an issue in the daily lives of some of these young men that they ended up undergoing surgery to remove excess tissue.

Filing a Risperdal Lawsuit

If you or someone you love was negatively impacted by Risperdal, or you are a male who has developed excessive breast tissues due to taking Risperdal, you may be able to file a Risperdal lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson for failure to adequately warn about the potential side effects of the drug.

While filing a lawsuit cannot alleviate the pain and suffering caused by gynecomastia, a Risperdal verdict like this one can help with financial complications from medical expenses. A Risperdal verdict or settlement can sometimes reach millions of dollars for injured plaintiffs.

If you suffered from Risperdal side effects, contact the attorneys at McDonald Worley today for a free case evaluation.