In February, a landmark jury verdict awarding Austin Pledger $2.5 million in damages against Johnson & Johnson became the most recent award in the myriad lawsuits related to Risperdal. Pledger, an autistic man, was prescribed the drug Risperdal in 2002, when he was 8 years old, to control his mood swings and violent outbursts related to his autism. Unaware that the drug could cause breast development, Pledger developed 46DD breasts in his teen years while on the drug.
Pledger’s is not the first case with similar details. In 2012, a case was settled on the first day in a Philadelphia court when 21-year-old Aron Banks brought a suit forward with the same complaint – breast development while taking Risperdal. Banks also experienced other side effects categorized as “mutilation” to his body, including rapid, unexplained weight gain and permanent damage to his endocrine system. He required surgery to remove his breasts and states that he has permanent psychological damage from the ordeal. His case was settled for a confidential amount.
Johnson and Johnson is additionally under fire for aggressively marketing Risperdal to the elderly and to children for unapproved uses such as dementia, anger management, and anxiety without listing dangerous medical risks associated with the drug. The issue here was not simply the strange and extreme side effect of breast development, it was a lack of transparency in Johnson & Johnson’s marketing. Not only did the company fail to state the risks in their labeling and advertising, as is required by federal law, they published deliberately misleading marketing materials downplaying the risks of breast development as a side effect. This has resulted in upwards of 100 lawsuits of a similar nature. The Law Offices of Michael Lamonsoff is currently litigating multiple cases for victims of Risperdal.
The medical term for the Risperdal-induced breast development is gynecomastia. It can affect one or both breasts and may even create breasts capable of lactation. These drugs raise prolactin, a hormone released by the pituitary gland, in order to block dopamine and provide the therapeutic effect of an anti-psychotic drug. However, prolactin is also the hormone that stimulates breast development and milk production in women during pregnancy.
This condition has been presented in court as causing social stigma, psychological damage, and physical mutilation and discomfort to those who have developed it as a side effect of Risperdal.
If you or a loved one has experienced the symptoms of gynecomastia after being prescribed Risperdal or were given Risperdal inappropriately, you may be entitled to compensation for your suffering and reimbursement for the medical expenses that incurred as a result.
The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff has over 100 years of combined experience fighting for the rights of victims of medical malpractice and pharmaceutical negligence. Our staff of expert medical malpractice attorneys and our network of highly qualified medical professionals will assist you in building your case and helping you through this difficult time. Call us today for a free consultation about your case at (212) 962-1020.