A Philadelphia jury on Tuesday said Johnson & Johnson (J&J) must pay $ 8 billion in punitive damages to a man because of his allegations that a drug produced by the American firm caused him to grow breasts.
The verdict in favor of Nicholas Murray, 26, came first in one of thousands of Risperdal cases pending in Pennsylvania.
Murray, just like other male plaintiffs in mass port cases over Risperdal, claims he developed breasts after being prescribed the medicine and took it from 2003 to 2008. A psychologist prescribed the medicine after diagnosing him with autism spectrum disorder. At the end of 1993, the drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar mania episodes in adults.
Four years ago, a jury awarded Murray $ 1.75 million after finding that J&J was negligent failure to warn consumers about the risk. A state anchor court upheld the verdict last year, but reduced it to $ 680,000.
“This jury, like other juries in other litigation, once again inflicted punitive damages on a company that valued its profits in terms of security and merit over patients, ” Murray's lawyers, Tom Kline and Jason Itkin, said. "Johnson & Johnson and [subsidiary] Janssen chose billions over children," they said.
J&J said that the award was "grossly disproportionate to the original compensatory award in this case, and the company is confident that it will overturn." It added that the jury in the case had not been allowed to hears evidence of Risperdal's benefits.
Plaintiff argues that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn of the risk of gynecomastia (the development of enlarged breasts in men) associated with Risperdal, as they say J&J marketed for unauthorized use with children.  Also on rt.com
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Plaintiffs in the mass tort lawsuits had been prevented from seeking criminal damages since 2014, when a state court judge ruled that New Jersey law (which prohibits punitive damages and is J & J's home state) should be used globally in cases.
2018, a Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling cleared the way for punitive damages rates, holding that the law in each said The searcher state should apply instead.
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