A Pennsylvania state judge tacked on an additional $6.66 million to the landmark $70 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals over allegations that the companies’ antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused a Tennessee adolescent boy to grow female breasts.
Plaintiffs attorneys asked Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Paula A. Patrick to increase the award amount after the verdict was issued, arguing the family was entitled to delay damages from April 16, 2014, which is one year after the complaint was filed, to July 1, 2016, the date when the verdict was handed down.
Attorneys for the family calculated the amount based on 4.25 percent annually for the years 2014 and 2015, and 4.5 percent for 2016.
Johnson & Johnson and Janssen did not take the news well, arguing in an email to Law360 that “we continue to believe the verdict was not justified and should be reversed on appeal.”
The $70 million verdict was made in the case of Andrew Yount, whose lawsuit was filed in April 2013. Yount’s family alleged that Yount began taking Risperdal in 2003 to treat psychiatric problems but the medication caused him to gain weight and grow female breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia.
Yount’s lawsuit, which began in June, alleged that the drug companies knew when Yount began taking the medication that it could cause a spike in prolactin, the hormone that causes gynecomastia, but failed to adequately warn doctors or families of this risk. Furthermore, Risperdal was not approved to treat children until three years after Yount began taking the drug.
The verdict in Yount’s case eclipsed three previous victories in Risperdal-related cases, which until Yount’s case totaled $4.75 million.