Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is on the hook in a case involving an autistic boy in Philadelphia who developed breasts that any beauty queen would envy. He was prescribed with Risperdal, the brand name for the antipsychotic drug risperidone carried by J&J division Janssen Pharmaceuticals, between 2002 and 2006. The child, Austin Pledger, is now 20 years old. By the time the boy’s parents had succeeded in gaining a trial in civil court, the boy had grown 46 DD breasts. That is a lot of load to carry for someone not physiologically designed to even have breasts.
Risperdal is an atypical antipsychotic, first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of schizophrenia in 1994. The scope of the FDA approval was widened to include short-term treatment of bipolar disorder (2003), and autism for both children and adults with severe and long-term violent behavior (2006). It is the only drug approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in juveniles (2007).
Risperdal is generally efficacious in treating these approved disorders. However, the plaintiff alleged that Janssen suppressed information about some of the risks involved in taking the medication. These include gynecomastia, or the abnormal development of breasts in males. The website of the Risperdal lawyers of Williams Kherkher points out young males who grow breasts are likely to feel emotionally and psychologically devastated. Considering that the patients already have mental and behavioral problems, this cannot be helpful.
The jury in this case agreed.
They decided that J&J should pay the family of Austin Pledger the amount $2.5 million for damages. As this is the first Risperdal case alleging J&J’s suppression of known facts about Risperdal and gynecomastia, the verdict is likely to be repeated in other similar cases in the future.
If you or your child suffers from gynecomastia because of Risperdal, you may find similar success in getting compensation. Find experienced Risperdal lawyers in your state to get you started.