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J&J Facing Over 18,500 Risperdal Gynecomastia Lawsuits


April 4, 2017 — Over 18,500 lawsuits have been filed by young men who developed female breasts after taking Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug made by Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson reported 103,000 lawsuits to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission involving five drugs and medical devices: Risperdal, Xarelto, hip implants, vaginal mesh, and baby powder.

The company was also hit with six out of seven of the biggest injury verdicts of 2016. The number of lawsuits grew dramatically after publicity from eye-popping jury awards and pre-trial settlements.

The biggest Risperdal trial award was $70 million in July 2016 to a teenager who grew breasts when he was 5 years old.

Four other Risperdal trials have ended in juries awarding payouts ranging from $500,000 to $2.5 million. The largest of those payouts was to a 22 year-old autistic man who grew size 46DD breasts.

A number of settlements have also been paid to victims. In January 2017, for example, Johnson & Johnson paid a confidential settlement just three days before a trial was set to begin in Philadelphia.

All of the lawsuits claim that Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk of gynecomastia and downplayed the risk, putting corporate profits above public safety. Lawyers also say Risperdal was illegally marketed “off-label” for uses in children before they were approved.

Some of this illegal behavior resulted in $2.2 billion fine with the Justice Department in 2013, but Risperdal generated at least $30 billion. The marketing campaign was led by Alex Gorsky, who was rewarded for his success with a promotion to CEO of Johnson & Johnson. His strategy to push Risperdal is featured in a documentary series by Steven Brill: America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker.


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