Risperdal MDL in Philadelphia Begins Opening Arguments
On Friday, January 23rd, the Risperdal MDL (multidistrict litigation) alleging long-lasting personal injury caused by the drug Risperdal, when used for off-label purposes, began in Philadelphia.
Opening arguments debated the specific personal injury claim that using Risperdal in young boys could cause gynecomastia, a medical condition in which males grow female breast tissue. Many of the 1,257 cases against Risperdal claim that the antipsychotic was not, at the time their doctor prescribed it, approved by the FDA for use in children, and the unknown side effects have permanently harmed their boys. The plaintiffs do not blame their doctors for recommending Risperdal for off-label use, but instead state that Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson, who developed, manufactured, and marketed the antipsychotic, misinformed pediatricians that Risperdal was safe for use in growing children.
In one particular lawsuit, the plaintiff, who is now 18 years old, began taking Risperdal at only 7 years old – between 2002 and 2008. At the time he began using the anti-psychotic, it was not approved for use in children or adolescents – the FDA would not approve Risperdal for pediatric use until 2006. The plaintiff claims that J&J subsidiary Janssen promoted Risperdal’s use in children with criminal and reckless disregard for their welfare. The plaintiff is also suing non-Johnson & Johnson publishers of scientific materials, which claim that pediatric use of Risperdal is safe. He accuses them of conveying false information and misleading materials about the safety of Risperdal.
The plaintiff, whose case is in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, says that as a result of using Risperdal as a child, he suffered rapid weight gain, serious and permanent injury to his endocrine and sexual systems, gynecomastia, as well as other permanent physical and emotional damages. His lawsuit alleges that Janssen and J&J committed negligence, fraud, failure to warn, strict product liability, breach of express and implied warranties, conspiracy against defendants, and violation of the Illinois Unfair Trade Practices Act.
“Many people think the FDA tests drugs,” said one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys. “That’s not the case at all. They rely on pharmaceutical companies” to show them whether drugs are safe. He said that Janssen had a legal obligation to tell the FDA what it knew about the potential gynecomastia side effect, especially when the company applied to the regulatory agency to approve Risperdal’s use in children, and the pharmaceutical company failed to do so.
“When you’re dealing with the most fragile among us, in a drug that isn’t even approved for the indication, and you find a problem, do you open the window for everyone to see or do you try to pull the shades?” the attorney said in his closing remarks.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuits
The Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. is a leader in the consumer protection battle against dangerous prescription drugs and medical devices, like Risperdal. We represent individuals who have been killed or injured by dangerous or defective pharmaceuticals.
If you or a male loved one were prescribed Risperdal and suffer any of the following side effects:
- swollen breast gland tissue
- tenderness in one or both of the breasts
- swollen nipples
- darkened or reddish skin around the nipples
And you have been diagnosed with gynecomastia by a doctor, contact our dangerous drug lawyers as soon as possible so that we can begin taking steps to preserve evidence and your claim immediately. We offer free consultations to discuss the facts of your case. 803.252.4800