Parties in Pennsylvania Risperdal Litigation Set to Meet with Court in March

Published on February 9, 2017 by Laurie Villanueva

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Thousands of Risperdal lawsuits continue to move forward in the mass tort litigation currently underway in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. According to a notice posted on the Complex Litigation Center website, the parties involved in the litigation will meet with the Court on March 9th at 11:00 a.m.

Court documents indicate that more than 2,900 Risperdal lawsuits are either pending in the Pennsylvania litigation or awaiting mass tort listing. The consolidated proceeding is the Complex Litigation Center’s second-largest mass tort, and is exceeded only by the program established for Reglan lawsuits. All of the pending claims were filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly suffered gynecomastia and other side effects related to treatment with the antipsychotic medication. Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit are accused of concealing the risks associated with Risperdal and of failing to provide doctors and patients with appropriate safety warnings.

Risperdal and Gynecomastia

Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorder in adults and children. The drug was brought to market in 1993, and approved for its first pediatric indications in 2006. Among other things, Risperdal is known to stimulate the development of prolactin, a hormone linked to female breast development and lactation. However, higher-than-normal prolactin levels are known to cause excessive breast growth (gynecomastia) in men and boys.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a landmark $2.2 billion settlement with Johnson & Johnson and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Among other things, the accord resolved allegations that the companies had improperly marketed Risperdal for off-label uses, and required that Janssen plead guilty to a criminal misdemeanor charge of promoting Risperdal for unapproved use in elderly dementia patients. However, the drug makers did not admit wrongdoing in settling claims that they marketed Risperdal to treat children long before any pediatric indications were approved by U.S. regulators.

Since 2015, several Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits have gone to trial in Philadelphia. Plaintiffs have won four of theses contests, with juries awarding damages ranging from $70 million to $500,000. Jurors declined damages in a fifth case, while a sixth lawsuit was dismissed mid-trial for lack of evidence. Undisclosed settlements have also been reached in several cases just before trials were scheduled to begin.

Contact an Attorney Today

Bernstein Liebhard LLP continues to evaluate Risperdal lawsuits on behalf of men and boys with gynecomastia.  To contact an attorney today, please call (888) 995-5099.