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Just as trial was set to begin in the latest “bellwether” lawsuit over the male breast growth side effects of Risperdal, Johnson & Johnson reportedly reached an agreement to resolve the settle the case, avoiding another potentially massive verdict for failing to warn about the risks associated with their atypical antipsychotic for young boys.
Johnson & Johnson currently faces thousands of Risperdal lawsuits filed by families nationwide, each involving similar allegations that boys and young men developed full breasts following use of the medication, involving a medical condition known as gynecomastia.
Trial was expected to begin on Monday in Philadelphia, involving a case brought on behalf of a young boy who experienced breast growth problems after he was prescribed Risperdal when he was 7 years old, for treatment of Asperger’s syndrome, impulse control disorder and oppositional defiance disorder. However, according to a report by the Legal Intelligencer, the parties reached a confidential settlement last week.
The breast growth settlement comes following several recent large verdicts returned by juries in Philadelphia who considered evidence surrounding Johnson & Johnson’s research and marketing decisions concerning the drug. In July, the family of a five year old Tennessee boy was awarded $70 million in damages, with other prior verdicts including $500,000 in December 2015, $1.75 million in November 2015 and $2.5 million in February 2015.
While Johnson & Johnson has reached other “one-off” Risperdal settlements as cases approached trial, the manufacturer has refused to reach any global agreement to resolve large numbers of claims, instead continuing to defend cases at trial.
Failure to Warn About Risperdal Breath Growth Risk
Risperdal (risperidone) is an antipsychotic medication that was originally approved for use among adults with schizophrenia. Since it was introduced, it has also been widely used among children for a wide variety of conditions, including bi-polar disorders, autism, irritability, aggression and behavior disorders.
Each of the lawsuits involve similar allegations that Johnson & Johnson failed to provide adequate warning to the medical community, users or parents about the risk of male breast growth linked to Risperdal use by young boys.
Gynecomastia is a rare medical condition involving the growth of breasts among males, which has been reported among a number of boys and young adult males who previously used Risperdal.
The impact of gynecomastia from Risperdal can have a devastating psychological consequence on teens and young men, potentially resulting in severe anxiety, embarrassment and other mental health issues that impact their overall quality of life. The breast growth also often results in the need for surgery to correct the problems, resulting in scarring and other health risks.
Although many of the cases filed by individuals nationwide have been pending for several years, Risperdal gynecomastia lawyers are continuing to evaluate and pursue new cases for families and young men who have experienced breast growth problems.