On Tuesday, a Philadelphia jury ordered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay $8 billion in punitive damages over its antipsychotic drug Risperdal, which caused a Maryland man to develop enlarged breasts.
The latest verdict arises from a lawsuit filed by Nicholas Murray, who won $1.75 million in 2015, which was later reduced to $685,000, against J&J. The lawsuit stated Murray's gynecomastia was the result of his Risperdal use between 2003 and 2008. During the initial verdict, the Philadelphia judge had barred the jury from awarding punitive damages. The rule was later overturned by an appeals court, clearing the way for the punitive-damages trial.
Around 13,000 lawsuits are filed against J&J, claiming that the powerful antipsychotic drug causes gynecomastia in boys, an undesired growth of breast tissue. Two coordinated actions are 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).