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Risperdal (risperidone) is a powerful antipsychotic medication approved for use in treating mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability associated with autism.  Ongoing nationwide lawsuits allege that the medication causes a condition known as gynecomastia, or male breast growth and that Johnson & Johnson, the drug’s manufacturer, failed to adequately warn of the risk that young men would develop breasts. Interestingly, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $2.2 Billion in fines due in part to misconduct and off label promotion of Risperdal.  Off label promotion refers to a drug company marketing its drug for uses that are not approved by the FDA.  Of particular relevance to the Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuits, the Federal Government alleged that J&J had deliberately marketed the drug to gain access to the potentially lucrative children/adolescent market, despite the fact that the FDA had rejected the company’s attempts to get approval for this population of patients. The $2.2 Billion fine does not go to compensate the young men and boys who were disfigured by taking Risperdal.  Lawsuits seeking compensation for these injured young men and boys are filed primarily in two courts:  Philadelphia and Los Angeles.  To date there have been four cases tried to verdict.  Three have resulted in verdicts in favor of the injured plaintiff in the amount of $2.5 Million, $1.75 Million, and $500,000.  In all four trials, juries have found that J&J failed to adequately warn of the risks of gynecomastia.

Interestingly, the Judge presiding over the Risperdal cases in Philadelphia ruled that plaintiffs could not seek punitive damages for the company’s misconduct. No such ruling has been made in the Los Angeles cases. The first trials scheduled in the Los Angeles consolidated cases are set to begin this July. Men who took Risperdal and developed breasts continue to file lawsuits nationwide seeking compensation for disfigurement and emotional suffering. Our law firm represents young men and boys nationwide who took Risperdal and developed gynecomastia.  If you think you may have a case, please feel free to call us for a free case evaluation at 1-800-711-2338.

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