No Punitive Damages in Risperdal Lawsuit, Judge Reaffirms


A judge overseeing Risperdal lawsuits has confirmed his decision to not allow punitive damages in these cases. The lawsuits allege that men who used Risperdal developed gynecomastia, or abnormal breast growth. While the decision bars plaintiffs from obtaining punitive damages, plaintiffs are still entitled to recover compensatory damages, so the Risperdal lawsuits will progress as expected.

No Punitive Damages in Risperdal Lawsuit, Judge Reaffirms

In restating his decision, Judge Arnold New reaffirmed that patients who claim they were injured by their use of Risperdal will not be able to obtain punitive damages should their lawsuits be successful. Earlier in 2014, Judge New ruled that New Jersey law regarding punitive damages were applicable to these cases, preventing plaintiffs from recovering punitive damages in lawsuits involving drugs that required pre-market approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The judge sided with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, stating that because the company has two facilities in New Jersey where they developed marketing for Risperdal, the New Jersey Product Liability Act would be applicable. Plaintiffs had argued that because they were treated with Risperdal for symptoms and conditions not approved by the FDA, the law preventing punitive damages should not apply.

According to court documents, an estimated 700 plaintiffs are involved in the Risperdal lawsuits that have been filed in Pennsylvania litigation on behalf of men who developed gynecomastia and other side effects potentially associated with the drug. So far, 80 settlements have been reached. Risperdal lawsuits claim that patients were not adequately warned about the possible side effects of the medication, including gynecomastia, when they took the drug. Some claims also allege that males suffered from psychological and emotional trauma due to the development of breast tissues.

In 2012, one Risperdal lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount on the morning that the lawsuit was slated to begin. A separate claim was resolved in 2012 just one week after testimony started. Risperdal may cause an increased risk of weight gain that can cause other complications such as increases in triglycerides and cholesterol. Many physicians, however, feel that this risk does not necessarily outweigh the reported benefits of the product.

Johnson & Johnson agreed to a $2.2 billion settlement in 2013 to resolve allegations that the manufacturer marketed Natrecor, Invega, and Risperdal for unapproved uses. Among other things, the U.S. Department of Justice accused Johnson & Johnson of improperly marketing Risperdal for use in children before the product was approved for pediatric uses in 2006. While it is not illegal for physicians to prescribe drugs that have not been approved by the FDA for certain uses, it is illegal for manufacturers to market said drugs for unapproved uses.

Do You Have a Risperdal Lawsuit? Contact a Risperdal Attorney Today

If you or a man in your life developed gynecomastia while taking Risperdal and you would like more information about filing a Risperdal lawsuit to recover damages for your injuries, please fill out our case evaluation form on this page or call Bernstein Liebhard, LLP today at (855) 511-1001. There is no cost to speak with us, and you will not be required to pay our legal expenses unless we are able to make a recovery on your behalf. Call now for more information and to get started today.

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