Shaquil Byrd, a 24-year-old New York man, has won his lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The gynecomastia claim in the case involved the drug Risperdal. The jury awarded $1 million in damages. The Plaintiff grew disfiguring breasts after taking Risperdal. Byrd was prescribed Risperdal when he was 9 years old to treat a mood disorder. He developed breast tissue within months of beginning the drug and the breasts began lactating by the time he was 10. Like many Plaintiffs experiencing gynecomastia, the Plaintiff suffered physically and emotionally. He was teased, bullied and even physically assaulted by his peers because of his abnormal breasts.
According to the National Law Review, the number of Risperdal lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and Janssen nearly tripled in just six months this year. The number increased from approximately 2,000 in January to more than 5,500 by the end of June.
As we have previously reported, some Plaintiffs developed breasts as large as DD and many times the breasts may even lactate. Invasive surgical procedures are often required to remove the breast tissue. For example, Byrd had to endure surgery to remove his unsightly breasts.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Risperdal in 1993 to treat adult schizophrenia. Although the FDA did not approve the drug for use in children and adolescents until 2006, Janssen aggressively marketed the drug for a number of off-label pediatric uses before such approval. It should be noted that Janssen paid $2.2 billion to the U.S. Department of Justice in 2013 to settle claims of deceptive marketing practices.
If you need more information on the Risperdal litigation, contact James Lampkin, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at James.Lampkin@beasleyallen.com. James has handled a number of these cases.
Sources: Righting Injustice and National Law Review