Just months after a Philadelphia jury awarded a boy $70 million after growing female-like breasts allegedly caused by his use of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, a judge has nixed the latest Risperdal side effects case to face trial in the mass tort program claiming makers of the antipsychotic medication did not adequately warn that use of the drug could disfigure adolescent boys.
Judge Arnold New granted a summary judgment in favor of Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals based on the company’s motion filed last December that referenced the boy’s treating physician who said that she would have continued to prescribe Risperdal to the boy because “the benefit of treatment outweighs any risk of the side effects.”
The boy’s family filed a reply in January stating that the reasoning didn’t apply because Janssen had “actively concealed material information” regarding the drug’s ability to increase levels of prolactin in the body – the same hormone that spikes and causes pregnant women to lactate.
The lawsuit, filed by the boy’s family in June 2013, alleged that he grew female breasts, a condition called gynecomastia, after being prescribed Risperdal at age 8 to treat symptoms of ADHD. Risperdal, known chemically as risperidone, is approved to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability with autism. It is often used off-label to treat behavioral problems including ADHD.
More than 5,400 Risperdal side effects cases are pending in a mass tort program in Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. Most of the trials have fallen in favor of the plaintiffs, including the landmark $70 million verdict. Janssen has also settled some of the cases, the details of which were not made public.