An expected ‘bellwether’ lawsuit against a large pharmaceutical manufacturer was reportedly settled last month. Bellwether suits are cases that are expected to give legal professionals an idea of what to expect from similar cases that may be filed at a later date. In this instance, the suit was settled confidentially, so no settlement amount is available at the time of this post, though other suits regarding similar issues resulted in jury verdicts ranging from half a million dollars to over two million.
The suit in question deals with one of the largest drug manufacturers in the U.S., Johnson & Johnson. The drug in question is called Risperdal, which is approved for use in cases of adults with the psychological disorder schizophrenia. However, the medicine has reportedly been marketed for several ‘off-label’ purposes, such as to treat children and older adults who have various behavioral problems, like dementia, bi-polar disorder or aggression.
In over a decade, thousands of legal actions have alleged that Risperdal has a side effect that causes a condition called gynecomastia in male patients. This condition causes an increase in a certain hormone in the blood stream that research indicates may cause the growth of breasts in men. This effect causes psychological trauma in the victims and may also require surgery to remove the breasts, which can result in large amounts of physical scarring.
While Johnson & Johnson continues to deny that the drug has the alleged side effect, cases continue to mount against the company. Off-label use of pharmaceuticals and lack of warnings about side effects are two reasons that individuals who believe they have been injured by the use of drugs may want to consider seeking the advice of a Texas pharmaceutical liability attorney.
Source: fortworth.legalexaminer.com, “Risperdal Breast Growth Side Effect Lawsuit Settles,” Shezad Malik, May 20, 2016