A 22-year-old Troy, NY man took the witness stand last week and described how he was ridiculed at school because he developed female-like breasts and started lactating as a result of taking the anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.
The man is suing Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for negligence for failure to warn the medical community about the side effects of Risperdal. He was eight years old when he was prescribed Risperdal for a mental health condition, which resulted in gynecomastia (the development of breasts), a side effect that he and his family knew nothing about. He has said he does not blame his psychiatrist or Capital District Psychiatric Center, where he was receiving outpatient treatment in 2002 when he was prescribed Risperdal.
The plaintiff had his breasts surgically removed in 2014, but the damage had already been done. “It was like living in Hell,” he was quoted as saying in the Albany (NY) Times-Union. “It made me feel like an outcast … I didn’t feel like I was a male or a female. I felt like I was kind of in between.” He was bullied unmercifully, and to this day, said he will not remove his shirt if he is in a public setting.
Other Risperdal Lawsuits
Hundreds of similar lawsuits have been filed against Johnson and Johnson and Janssen by others making similar allegations of serious side effects, including:
- Eye problems
- Weight gain
- Pituitary tumors
- Bone loss
- Diabetes mellitus
- Tardive dyskinesia
- Metabolic syndrome
- Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)
Johnson & Johnson has already paid several large settlements. In 2012, J&J and Janssen reached a $181 million consumer fraud settlement with 36 states over the marketing of Risperdal, although the company didn’t admit wrongdoing or pay a fine or penalty.