A state court jury in Philadelphia has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.75 million dollars in damages to a young man who developed gynecomastia, or abnormal breast development, while taking the drug. The verdict compensates the young man for disfigurement and mental anguish, among other damages, and signifies a significant step forward for individuals and their families who were harmed by the drug.
By way of background, Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals division are accused of improperly marketing Risperdal for off-label uses and engaging in false and misleading promotional activities, negligently designing the medication, failing to warn consumers of the risks of the medication, and breaching warranties to consumers. In 2013, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines to the Department of Justice to settle charges that the defendants improperly promoted the antipsychotic drug Risperdal.
The verdict marks the conclusion of the fourth Risperdal trial in Philadelphia, and all four cases have found that J&J failed to warn that Risperdal causes gynecomastia. The company and its Janssen division face more than 1,500 cases in Philadelphia and certain individuals may still be eligible to file a claim for their injuries sustained by use of the drug.