A jury in Philadelphia found Friday that the antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused a Tennessee boy to develop gynecomastia, a condition that causes males to grow female breasts, and imposed a $70 million verdict on its manufacturer.
This was by far the largest Risperdal verdict in a string of cases against the drug manufacturer. Earlier verdicts ranged from $500,000 to $2.2 million.
“The jury got angry at these people; they don’t take responsibility,” an attorney familiar with the case said.
A spokesperson for the drug manufacturer said they plan to appeal the verdict.
“We know that dealing with disorders of the brain is very difficult, and we sympathize with the plaintiff in this case and his family,” the statement said. “During the trial, the jury heard evidence that the FDA-approved label properly warned of Risperdal’s potential side effects, that the plaintiff’s physical condition was not caused by using the medication, and that the plaintiff benefited from using Risperdal.”
During the trial, the plaintiff’s lawyers introduced evidence suggesting that the manufacturer of Risperdal had manipulated results from a study showing that Risperdal was suspected of causing gynecomastia in young boys.
Risperdal was originally approved to treat bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But the drug maker quickly expanded the drug’s use to include treating children with behavioral problems and autism without FDA approval.
“We are glad that Andrew’s suffering now stands for something,” said Terry Yount, his father. We hope this verdict gives hope to the thousands of other boys who were disfigured by Risperdal that they will get justice too.”
The verdict comes three years after the U.S. Justice Department found some irregularities with Risperdal. The company paid $2.2 billion in civil and criminal penalties to settle charges that it improperly marketed the drug for use with elderly nursing home patients to control agitation, confusion, and other symptoms of dementia.
Hundreds of more Risperdal lawsuits are expected to be filed in the coming weeks. Dr. Shezad Malik’s law firm is investigating multiple potential Risperdal cases from across the country. If you or a loved one suffered from gynecomastia after taking Risperdal, contact our office immediately.