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A series of Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits are set for trial to begin later this year and early next year in Pennsylvania state court, involving claims brought on behalf of boys and young men who experienced problems with male breast growth following use of the popular antipsychotic drug.
Johnson & Johnson currently faces hundreds of product liability lawsuits involving use of the medication by young males for treatment of bi-polar disorders, autism, irritability, aggression or other behavior disorders.
The complaints all involve similar allegations that the drug maker failed to adequately warn that side effects of Risperdal may include a risk of gynecomastia, which is a medical condition that results in the development of breasts in teens boys and young adult men.
Most of the Risperdal litigation is currently pending in Pennsylvania state court, where the first trial was expected to begin this month in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. However, the start of the first three bellwether cases have been pushed back, with the first trial now scheduled to begin on November 3, followed by a second trial on January 3, 2015 and a third trial that will begin sometime in February 2015.
Risperdal Gynecomastia Litigation
Johnson & Johnson has been quietly dealing with the lawsuits over Risperdal for years, and previously took steps to avoid allegations raised in the claims from being presented in open court.
In September 2012, it was reported that the drug maker settled a Risperdal case as trial was about to begin in Philadelphia, resolving a lawsuit brought by a 21 year old man who alleged that he suffered severe psychological trauma and had to undergo breast removal surgery after using Risperdal as a child.
Shortly after that, settlement agreements were reached in Risperdal lawsuits brought on behalf of at least five boys, who raised similar allegations that the medication caused male breast growth problems.
In recent years, as awareness about the link between Risperdal and gynecomastia diagnosis has increased, the size and scope of the litigation has expanded rapidly, and Johnson & Johnson has been defending the cases.
The series of Risperdal bellwether cases scheduled to begin earlier this year are designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that may be introduced throughout the litigation. Although the outcomes are not binding on other cases, they may substantially influence future Risperdal settlement negotiations.