Risperdal Verdicts and Settlements

Published on November 17, 2014 by Sandy Liebhard

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Risperdal settlements, as well as significant verdicts in favor of plaintiffs, have already been reported in the massive litigation involving the drug’s alleged association with gynecomastia, or male breast growth. However, the litigation is far from over, and hundreds of cases remain to be resolved.

There is still time for alleged victims of Risperdal-related gynecomastia to file their own lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit. While there is no guarantee that any single Risperdal lawsuit will end with a settlement or judgement in favor of the plaintiff, the attorneys and legal staff at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are working to ensure the best possible outcome for our male breast growth clients. If you would like to join this litigation, please contact our Firm today at .

Risperdal: What’s The Problem?

risperdal settlementsRisperdal (risperidone) is an atypical – or new generation – antipsychotic medication that is indicated to treat a number of psychiatric disorders in adults and children, as well as aggressive behavior in children with autism. The drug has been on the market since the early 1990s, but wasn’t approved for any pediatric uses until 2006. In addition to its approved indications, Risperdal is also used off-label, frequently to treat children with ADHD.

In addition to Risperdal tablets, Johnson & Johnson also markets Risperdal Consta, a long-acting injectable version of the medication, as well as Invega, another atypical antipsychotic that contains an active metabolite of risperidone.

A number of studies suggest that Risperdal can increase the levels of a hormone called prolactin, especially when it is taken by children. Prolactin plays an important role in female breast development and lactation, and is also known to encourage the growth of excess breast tissue in men and boys. Plaintiffs who have filed Risperdal lawsuits claim that the drug’s manufacturers were aware of this risk, but actively took steps to conceal the information from doctors and patients.

Risperdal Litigation

One of the largest Risperdal litigations is currently underway in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where more than 1,700 cases are pending.  Court records in Pennsylvania indicate that the plaintiff  in a gynecomastia lawsuit were able to reach a Risperdal settlement – the litigation’s first – in September 2012. The lawsuit, which was resolved on the very day the case was supposed to go to trial, had been filed on behalf of a 21-year-old man who was prescribed Risperdal at age 9. His lawsuit blamed the drug  for the development of female-like breasts which required surgical removal, as well as rapid weight gain, injuries to his endocrine system, and serious psychological trauma. According to Bloomberg News, attorneys for the plaintiff speculated that “the possibility of more evidence of off-label marketing and improper conduct by Johnson & Johnson had something to do with the settlement.”

Later that month, four more cases were settled by Johnson & Johnson for amounts that were not disclosed to the general public. Despite its agreement to resolve these claims, the company maintains that they committed no wrongdoing in their manufacturing and marketing of Risperdal.

The Pennsylvania litigation began trying Risperdal gynecomastia cases in early 2015. As of June 2016, five juries have found that the drug’s manufacturers were negligent in failing to provide appropriate warnings regarding its risks, and four plaintiffs have been awarded significant financial compensation:

  • February 2015: Pennsylvania’s first Risperdal breast growth trial concluded with a $2.5 million judgement in favor of the plaintiff, an autistic man who was prescribed the drug off-label as a child.
  • March 2015: The jury hearing the Pennsylvania litigation’s second Risperdal lawsuit involving male breast development declined to award that plaintiff any damages, after determining that he had not proven a causal link between the drug and his condition. However, the panel did find that Risperdal’s manufacturers had failed to provide appropriate safety warnings to patients and doctors.
  • November 2015: A third gynecomastia victim who filed in Pennsylvania was awarded $1.75 million at the conclusion of his Risperdal trial. However, that judgment was later reduced to $680,000 on appeal.
  • December 2015: A fourth Risperdal plaintiff prevails in a gynecomastia lawsuit, after the Pennsylvania jury weighing evidence in his case orders Johnson & Johnson and Janssen to pay him $500,000 in compensatory damages. The plaintiff took Risperdal for three years beginning in 2006 to treat symptoms associated with Tourette’s syndrome, when he was just 11-years-old.
  • July 2016: The fifth Risperdal gynecomastia trial concluded with a $70 million judgement for the plaintiff, the proceeding’s largest verdict thus far. The unanimous jury also found that the drug’s manufacturers “intentionally falsified, destroyed or concealed records containing material evidence.”

In addition to these verdicts, a Risperdal lawsuit scheduled for trial in May 2016 was reportedly settled just days before opening arguments were about to begin. Additional Risperdal settlements have also been reached in a small number of gynecomastia cases.

Risperdal Legal Reviews Now Available

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is currently representing a number of Risperdal gynecomastia plaintiffs, and our attorneys continue to provide free case reviews to others considering legal action. To schedule your no-obligation consultation, please call .