Johnson & Johnson has agreed to a settlement in order to avoid a trial that was slated to begin in Pennsylvania state court on Nov. 1 in the latest case over abnormal breast growth that adolescent boys have suffered after taking the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The case was filed by the family of a boy (identified only as “N.F.”) who allegedly began using Risperdal at age 6 to treat symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. The terms of the settlement are confidential.
The case would have been the sixth case to go to trial over claims that J&J subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. worked to obscure the risk of abnormal breast growth, a condition known as gynecomastia, faced by young boys taking the powerful antipsychotic medication.
This would have been the first case to go to trial since a jury hit J&J with a $70 million verdict on behalf of a Risperdal plaintiff in July. There are now more than 2,000 Risperdal-related cases pending as part of a mass tort program in Philadelphia. The three other verdicts in Risperdal cases tried in Philadelphia have resulted in $4.75 million in damages for Plaintiffs. In another case, there was a win for J&J. A jury in that case found there was insufficient evidence to show the Plaintiff’s injuries had been caused by the medication. The successful cases are all either tied up in post-trial motions or on appeal to the state’s Superior Court.
The Plaintiffs are represented by Tom Kline and Christopher Gomez of Kline & Specter PC, and Jason Itkin, Kelly Woods, Cesar Tavares, Cory Itkin and Santana McMurrey of Arnold & Itkin LLP. The cases are N.F. et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al. and C.W. et al. v Janssen Pharmaceuticals et al. both before the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.