Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals wants new plaintiffs in the Risperdal mass tort to include plaintiffs fact sheets detailing prescription records and documentation of gynecomastia diagnoses allegedly caused by the company’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Janssen claims that the information will help weed out any claims without merit, but those suing the drug company argue that the requirement would create a “pseudo-summary judgment” and kick out cases that deserve to be heard.
Janssen first pushed for the fact sheets in January after a 39 percent surge in new cases in the mass tort during 2016. Recent court statistics show 1,945 Risperdal lawsuits pending in the mass tort at the beginning of the year, but Janssen’s latest filing has the number at more than 2,000.
Risperdal, known chemically as risperidone, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability with autism. It is often used off-label to treat behavioral conditions including ADHD.
Risperdal can cause an increase of prolactin, the hormone responsible for triggering breast enlargement and lactation in pregnant women. Increases of prolactin in adolescent boys can lead to abnormal breast growth, a condition known as gynecomastia. Treatment often involves surgery including liposuction or mastectomy.
Last summer, a jury awarded $70 million to a 16-year-old boy who grew female-like breasts after taking Risperdal for 11 years. Juries awarded a collective $5 million in other Risperdal trials, and more are scheduled to be heard in the months to come.
Source: The Legal Intelligencer