J&J ordered with $8bn judgement for man experiencing breast growth due to taking Risperdal

J&J has been ordered to pay $8bn in damages to a US man who claims that that he was not warned that taking Risperdal could lead to experiencing breast growth. A jury in Philadelphia agreed that Janssen did not suitably emphasize the risk of the use of Risperdal in male children can cause enlarged breasts (known as gynaecomastia.)

J& will appeal the case, citing that the payout is grossly disproportionate. They also stated that they were not able to show the court key pieces of evidence to the jury that would have shown how Risperdals label outlined the risks of the drug.

The man, 26yr old Nicholas Murray, started to take Risperdal in 2003 after being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Risperdal is not approved for that particular use but was pre-scribed off-label , something that is not illegal in the US based on a physicians judgement. He was originally awarded $1.75m back in 2015, but that was reduced to $680,000 after an appeal last year that upheld the original verdict.

J&J has stated that the award for a single plaintiff “is a clear violation of due process and US Supreme Court precedent dictates that punitive damages awards that are double digit multiplier of the compensatory award should be set aside.”

This is not the first lawsuit J&J has been hit with recently, with a series of lawsuits filed over the last few years claiming damages which have occurred with asbestos in talc, hip replacement and vaginal mesh products and opioid drugs all appearing in the court. In August this year it was found responsible for fueling the opioid crisis in Oklahoma and charged $572m and J&J also agreed to $20m in Ohio over similar terms.

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