Last year, in a Risperdal side effects lawsuit, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson were found negligent of not properly warning doctors and patients of the increased risk of gynecomastia (excessive growth of breast tissues) that caused the plaintiff to grow breasts. A Philadelphia judge has urged the Supreme Court to affirm the $500,000 punitive damages from the trial.
The FDA approved Risperdal in 1993 to treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, autism, and manic depressive disorder, among others. While the World Health Organization once listed the drug as an essential medicine, it has since been shown to cause serious side effects.
Johnson & Johnson has been in hot water over its antipsychotic drug, Risperdal, for several years now. In 2013, J&J agreed to pay a hefty $2.2 billion for improperly marketing Risperdal off-label to young people and elderly and failing to warn these patients about the risks associated with the drug.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision whether or not the punitive damage will be affirmed will likely send shockwaves through thousands of other pending Risperdal lawsuits. If the punitive damages are affirmed, it will set an important precedent for holding J&J and Janssen Pharmaceuticals responsible, and will likely lead to many more punitive damages awards in additional lawsuits.