A Risperdal lawsuit involving claims filed by a 23-year-old man against Janssen Pharmaceutica is currently underway in Philadelphia Court. This is the first case in the nation to allow punitive damages if the jury rules in favor of the plaintiff. The jury heard arguments for the case on Tuesday, January 29.
Plaintiff Attorney Jason Itkin presented to the jurors a photo of Michael Herman as a child and pointed that then nine-year-old Herman had developed female breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia, and told it occurred due to the antipsychotic drug, Risperdal. In his argument, Itkin asserted that the company was aware of the drug's abnormal breast growth side-effect but chose to hide the fact from doctors and patients. The attorney called Janssen's conduct as intentional, outrageous, and completely focussed on seeking profit and sales. The defendant lawyer, Ethel Johnson argued the jurors to take note of the evidence and told that the doctor and the Herman family were adequately warned about the possible side-effects of the drug. She maintained that Herman was diagnosed with various mental illnesses during his childhood and the doctor who prescribed Risperdal considered it as an appropriate medication for him.
Two coordinated actions have been filed for Risperdal cases: one in Los Angeles Superior Court (Risperdal and Invega Product Liability Cases, JCCP 4775, presided by Honorable William Highberger) and the other in Philadelphia (In Re: Risperdal Litigation, March 2010 Term, Case No. 100300296).