Autistic Alabama Man Receives $2.5 Million for Risperdal Gynecomastia Side Effect
On Tuesday, February 24th, a Philadelphia jury once again ruled in favor of a Risperdal victim – this time, an autistic man from Alabama who took the antipsychotic as a teenager, and grew 46DD breasts as a side effect.
Gynecomastia is a sadly common side effect in male Risperdal victims who took the drug as children. The syndrome involves males growing female breast tissue, not just fat deposits. Not only can this side effect devastate the emotional life of a young man, but it can put the male victim at risk of breast cancer or other types of cancers due to hormonal imbalance.
Risperdal plaintiff Austin Pledger says, like many male victims of the drug’s side effects, that Johnson & Johnson, and its subsidiary Janssen, failed to warn about the dangers of taking the antipsychotic, and marketed the drug for off-label use in children well before Risperdal was approved to treat psychosis in children and teenagers.
The FDA approved Risperdal in 1994, but did not approve the drug for use in children until 2006. However, documents presented in other Risperdal personal injury trials show that the company began marketing their antipsychotic to pediatricians as early as 1999. Many young boys were prescribed Risperdal to treat psychosis or mood disorders related to other mental illnesses as early as 2001. Those children are now adults, and too many of them have suffered from gynecomastia.
“The jury in Philadelphia heard evidence that was never presented to the FDA by an American drug company,” said Pledger’s attorney. “If there was ever a clear failure-to-warn case, this was it.”
During the trial, Pledger’s pediatrician testified that he was unaware of specific information contained in a J&J/Janssen study, which showed the link between gynecomastia and Risperdal use. He said that he would absolutely have discussed that side effect with the family if he had known about it. Because J&J had fraudulently promoted Risperdal for off-label use for years, he added, when the drug was finally officially approved in 2006 for use in children, he, like many pediatricians, failed to read the revised label, which had updated side effect information.
This is the second Risperdal gynecomastia personal injury trial that a plaintiff has won. In early February, the plaintiff won the first bellwether trial, in which he alleged that he had been prescribed Risperdal as a child in 2002, and had subsequently suffered gynecomastia and other side effects. During his trial, former FDA Commissioner David Kessler testified that J&J and Janssen hid studies from the FDA regarding Risperdal’s safety.
“If somebody is sending a sales rep into a doctor’s office, into a pediatric neurologist’s office, and doing it multiple times, you have an obligation to provide adequate direction,” Kessler said. “Tell the good. Tell the bad.”
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Risperdal Gynecomastia Personal Injury Cases
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 physician, you may have a Risperdal personal injury case.
The personal injury attorneys at the Strom Law Firm defend citizens against fraud and off-label drug promotion from large pharmaceutical companies, which can injure or kill those taking dangerous prescriptions. Contact us today for a free consultation regarding the facts in your Risperdal case. 803.252.4800.