Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuit Filed Over Male Breast Removal Surgery

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen subsidiary faces a new lawsuit brought by a 21 year old man who alleges that he developed a medical condition known as gynecomastia due to side effects of Risperdal, which resulted in the growth of male breasts requiring removal surgery.

The complaint (PDF) was filed last month by Shaquil Byrd, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, claiming that he developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal several years as a teen and young man.

Gynecomastia is a rare condition involving the development of female breasts among men, which has been associated with the use of the antipsychotic Risperdal by boys.

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Risperdal Lawsuits

Side effects of Risperdal linked to risk of breast growth among young boys, or gynecomastia.

Byrd indicates that he took the medication from 2001 through 2008 for mental health issues, and developed breasts that began lactating. He indicates that multiple surgeries have been required, causing severe, painful, disabling and permanent injuries, as well as severe emotional problems from the Risperdal breast growth.

The case joins a growing number of similar Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits being pursued throughout the United States, which all involve similar allegations that the drug maker failed to adequately research the medication or warn about the risk of boys receiving the antipsychotic drug developing male breasts.

In some lawsuits, plaintiffs allege that boys developed breasts measuring as large as a 38D cup size after using Risperdal, and surgery is often required to remove the breasts. In addition to the physical injury caused by gynecomastia, the psychological effects of Risperdal breast growth can have a devastating impact on the boys, greatly impacting their overall quality of life.

In September 2012, it was reported that Johnson & Johnson reached a Risperdal settlement in a case brought by a 21 year old man, who alleged that side effects of the medication caused him to suffer severe psychological trauma and undergo surgery to have the breasts removed. That agreement was reached shortly before trial was to begin in the case.

Shortly after that, agreements were reached to settle Risperdal lawsuits brought on behalf of at least five other boys who alleged that they experienced unnatural male breast growth. However, over the past several years, the drug maker has been defending the cases, as a growing number of complaints continue to be filed due to increased awareness of the issue.

Most of the Risperdal litigation pending throughout the United States is pending in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, but a number of cases are also consolidated in the New Jersey court system as part of an MCL, or multi-county litigation, which is centralized before Judge Jessica R. Mayer in Middlesex County.

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