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Home / Business / Johnson & Johnson Risperdal verdict: The company struck with $ 8B judgment for drugs linked to boys' growing breasts

Johnson & Johnson Risperdal verdict: The company struck with $ 8B judgment for drugs linked to boys' growing breasts



A Philadelphia jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $ 8 billion in punitive damages in the case of a man who said he developed breasts after taking the company's antipsychotic drug Risperdal as a child. The case is not related to a number of big money lawsuits the company is facing its signature baby powder .

In the Risperdal case, a jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn 26-year-old Nicholas Murray of the drug's side effects. Murray claimed that taking Risperdal as a child caused him to develop breasts, an incurable condition known as gynecomastia. Thousands of others have filed lawsuits claiming the same.

Murray said he was prescribed the drug at age 9 for symptoms related to autism spectrum disorder, despite the fact that the FDA's approval of the drug in the 1

990s was to treat schizophrenia and episodes of bipolar mania in adults.

Lawyers for Murray alleged that the company marketed the drug for unapproved, off-label use in children to increase profits, choosing "billions over children."

Johnson & Johnson denied the allegations, saying it was certain the ruling would be reversed. In a statement, the company said it was "barred from presenting … key evidence …" The company further argued that evidence showed how the label for the drug "clearly and appropriately outlined the risks associated with the drug."

Murray's lawyers told "CBS This Morning" consumer research correspondent Anna Werner that the punitive damages were intended to deter the company from similar behavior in the future. They believe the decision will stand.

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