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Jury Awards $1 Million in Risperdal Lawsuit


October 18, 2017 — A man from New York who developed gynecomastia (breast enlargement) after taking the medication Risperdal was awarded $1 million by a federal jury.

He was awarded compensation for his pain and suffering, medical expenses, permanent injuries, and more.

The lawsuit states that Byrd developed gynecomastia and lactation. He required multiple surgeries for breast reduction and removal.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, were found liable for failing to adequately warn Byrd about the risk of gynecomastia and hyper-prolactinemia from Risperdal.

Byrd was prescribed Risperdal for the treatment of mental illness between 2001 and 2008, when he was a child. At the time, Risperdal had not been approved for any uses in children by the FDA.

In November 2013, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson paid a $2.2 billion fine to resolve civil and criminal allegations that Risperdal was improperly marketed for unapproved uses in children.

Risperdal (risperidone) is an antipsychotic medication that was originally approved for adults with schizophrenia. If it is given to children, Risperdal can elevate levels of the hormone prolactin, triggering the development of glandular breast tissue and lactation.

The only treatment for boys who develop gynecomastia as a result of taking Risperdal is typically multiple surgeries to remove the tissue.

The lawsuit (PDF) was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York — Shaquil Byrd v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al.Case No. 14-820.

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