December 18, 2014 — A mother from Louisiana has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, blaming the antipsychotic drug Risperdal on her son’s gynecomastia (male breast growth).
The lawsuit was filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of Q.B., a 17 year-old boy who was diagnosed with gynecomastia after taking Risperdal, Risperdal Consta (a long-acting injectable form of Risperdal), another antipsychotic called Invega (paliperidone), and/or generic risperidone.
Approximately 1,012 lawsuits have been centralized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for coordinated pretrial proceedings. Next year, a series of early trials are expected to help determine how a jury will respond to evidence. If they decide to award compensation, it could help expedite settlements for hundreds of similar cases pending in the litigation.
Some cases have already gone to trial. In 2012, Johnson & Johnson settled a lawsuit filed by a 21 year-old who was diagnosed with gynecomastia after taking Risperdal. He started taking the powerful medication when he was just 9 years old, long before the FDA approved Risperdal in children.
In November 2013, the Justice Department ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2 billion to resolve civil and criminal allegations involving illegal marketing of several drugs, including promoting Risperdal for “off-label” use in children.
Unfortunately, some of those children developed severe side effects, like medically serious weight-gain, type-2 diabetes, and gynecomastia. These conditions can destroy a person’s health and increase the risk of long-term physical and psychological side effects. The only treatment for severe gynecomastia is surgery.