A second jury has been convened to hear evidence in Pennsylvania’s seventh trial involving Risperdal and gynecomastia, following a medical emergency that resulted in a mistrial last week.
The case currently at trial was filed on behalf of a plaintiff who claims to have experienced excessive breast growth after he began taking Risperdal to treat Asperger’s syndrome in 2002. The now-adult plaintiff was prescribed the atypical antipsychotic medication when he was just 8 years old. At the time, Risperdal had not been approved for any pediatric indications. (Case No.130600861)
Judge Kenneth Powell of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas disbanded the first jury assigned to the case last Monday, after a plaintiff’s expert witness rendered medical aid to a juror who had fainted. Attorneys representing Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit argued for a mistrial, asserting that the jury would be unable to assess the witnesses’ credibility in the wake of the incident.
According to Law360.com, the trial had entered its second week when the mistrial was declared.
This case is one of 5,500 Risperdal lawsuits currently pending in the mass tort program underway in Philadelphia, most of which were filed on behalf of men and boys who allegedly developed gynecomastia due to treatment with the medication. According to RXInjuryHelp.com, the nationwide litigation involving Risperdal has grown to include more than 18,000 lawsuits pending in state and federal courts around the U.S.
The Pennsylvania mass tort program has been trying Risperdal gynecomastia cases since early 2015. Juries have favored plaintiffs in four trials, awarding damages ranging from $70 million to $500,000. Jurors declined damages in a fifth case, while summary judgment was awarded to the defendants in two others. Undisclosed settlements have also been reached in several cases just before trials were scheduled to begin.
Gynecomastia is an often-disfiguring disorder characterized by the growth of female-like breasts in men and boys. Other symptoms may include breast tenderness and pain, as well as nipple discharge. The condition is permanent, and can only be resolved via medical intervention ranging from liposuction to total mastectomy. Gynecomastia is thought to be the result of Risperdal’s potential to stimulate the body’s production of prolactin, a hormone that is instrumental in female breast development.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP is representing Risperdal plaintiffs in courts around the country. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with gynecomastia following treatment with Risperdal, please call (888) 995-5099 to discuss you options with our legal team today.