In this case, Andrew Yount grew breasts after taking Risperdal since he was five. He was awarded 70 million in damages for physical disfigurement and emotional distress by a jury in Philadelphia. The award is 28 times greater than the highest jury verdict previously decided against Janssen, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, in Philadelphia-based Risperdal litigation. That former highest verdict award was $2.5 million.
Austin Pledger, who was prescribed Risperdal in 2002 as a teenager for treatment of mood swings related to his autism, developed size 46 DD breasts, allegedly as a result of taking the drug.
Like Yount, Pledger asserted Janssen did not disclose or properly warn of such side effects before he was prescribed Risperdal. A Philadelphia jury awarded Pledger $2.5 million in February of last year. Only one case thus far, featuring Pennsylvania plaintiff William Cirba, has ended with a ruling in Janssen’s favor.
Plaintiff counsel for Yount were very pleased with the verdict award garnered in the case. They stated that, “This verdict is a very important verdict not only to Mr. Yount and his family and his counsel, but for our system of justice and most of all, the country and our jury system.” Counsel for Yount, Stephen Sheller, also claimed that Janssen’s leadership failed to adequately warn the public of the dangers associated with Risperdal use, and further stated his personal belief that the Food and Drug Administration likewise failed to protect the public from the drug and its alleged dangers.
Andrew’s father, Terry Yount, said, “We are glad that Andrew’s suffering now stands for something. We hope this verdict gives hope to the thousands of other boys who were disfigured by Risperdal that they will get justice too. We’re proud that a family from a little town in Tennessee was able to stand up against one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and hold them accountable for the harm they have caused.”
According to a spokesperson, Janssen believes the amount of the award far exceeds any appropriate figure and plans to potentially challenge it through legal appeal.
“We believe this verdict is not justified by the evidence, and that the award is clearly excessive and far out of line with any factual assessment of actual damages. Going forward, we will seek a review by the trial court and appellate court, if necessary,” said Kristina Chang, Business Unit Communication Leader, CNS and Infectious Diseases, at Johnson & Johnson.
By now, many people have probably heard about the medication Risperdal that is prescribed to people with autism, causing serious unwanted and harmful side effects. If you or someone you care about have taken Risperdal and another medication and experienced dangerous or even life threatening side effects, then you should speak to a Risperdal and Nashville Products Liability lawyer at The Higgins Firm right away. We will listen to your case and help you get the compensation you deserve for what you and your family have been through. We care about our clients and will answer any questions you may have. Then, we will work hard to make sure you get any compensation you are entitled to and make sure the party responsible is held accountable for their actions.
Please contact us today online or by calling 800.705.2121 to discuss what legal options you may have.