[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson was hit with another massive jury verdict, this time for the off-label marketing of the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal. A jury in Philadelphia awarded $8 billion in punitive damages to a 26-year-old man who suffered gynecomastia, the development of breasts in males, after being prescribed Risperdal off-label for symptoms of autism spectrum disorder when he was 9-years-old. Risperdal was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar mania in 1993. The drug was later approved for the treatment of children with irritability associated with autism spectrum disorder.
The plaintiff in this case had previously been awarded $680,000 in compensatory damages. The $8 billion is punitive damages, functioning mainly as a punishment, and future deterrent, for Johnson & Johnson. This is the first Risperdal case in which a jury had to decide whether to issue punitive damages. The company will likely appeal the decision.
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Johnson & Johnson has had a history of litigation regarding the side-effects and marketing of Risperdal. In 2013, the company plead guilty to marketing the drug off-label and issuing kickbacks to doctors and pharmacies, resulting in $2.2 billion in fines. Numerous multi-million dollar lawsuits have been settled or decided by juries related to the inadequate warnings regarding gynecomastia. Thousands of additional lawsuits are pending.
Patients who suffer serious side effects not mentioned in a prescription drug's warnings may be entitled to financial compensation. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with gynecomastia after being prescribed Risperdal, or have suffered any unexpected side effect from any prescription drug, contact the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth at 888-517-9888 for a free consultation with one of our dedicated litigation attorneys