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Risperdal Lawsuit Filed in Louisiana District Court

teenage-boy-back-turnedOn March 27, 2015, a former Risperdal patient filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against several drug manufacturers, including Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson. The complaint is one of several ongoing causes of action against the makers of the powerful antipsychotic drug, which has been increasingly linked with the onset of male breast growth – known as gynecomastia.

In this plaintiff’s case, the drug was prescribed to treat the symptoms of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder. However, as the plaintiff alleges, Risperdal is specifically approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and manic bipolar symptoms, and has nonetheless been illegally off-label marketed to patients – including children – for the treatment of unapproved conditions.

As a result, the plaintiff has asserted several causes of action against the drug makers, and is seeking compensation for both the actual costs of his condition and the pain, suffering, and mental anguish associated with developing and treating the growth of male breast tissue.

General allegations averred against defendants

According to the plaintiff’s factual allegations, he was prescribed Risperdal by his physician in 2011. As a result, he began to develop the onset of gynecomastia, which has been known to develop into male breast cancer in some cases.

The plaintiff begins his general assertions by highlighting the defendants’ aggressive marketing tactics tending to minimize the inherent risk of Risperdal use, particularly in patients who did not present with symptoms of bipolar mania or schizophrenia. In addition, the plaintiff contends that each defendant knew about the risks of gynecomastia and failed to properly warn patients and physicians as to the possibility for this dangerous condition to develop. Instead, according to the plaintiff, the defendants continued to market and sell Risperdal for a wide array of antipsychotic indications without proper disclosure of the problematic tendencies associated with the drug.

Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit

In his Risperdal lawsuit, the plaintiff raises a number of causes of action against the defendants, all of which are common in medical malpractice and dangerous drug litigation. More specifically, the plaintiff seeks compensation under the following allegations:

  • Composition Defect: Risperdal is unreasonably dangerous to consumers in its current composition
  • Design Defect: The drug, as designed, is too dangerous for general consumer use, and an alternative design should have been implemented to prevent injury.
  • Inadequate Warnings: The defendants failed to offer a proper and thorough warning of the risks of gynecomastia to Risperdal patients.
  • Breach of Express Warranties: The defendants expressly promised that Risperdal was safe and effective in treating the plaintiff’s conditions, when the drug actually caused the plaintiff to experience injury and harm.
  • Negligence: The defendants owed the plaintiff a duty of reasonable care, and breached that duty, directly causing personal injury.
  • Breach of Implied Warranties: All consumer goods are impliedly fit for their normal and ordinary purpose. Here, the plaintiff asserts that Risperdal is not fit for its ordinary purpose, which is the treatment of mental health disorders.
  • Strict Liability: Risperdal is so unreasonably, foreseeably dangerous, the defendants should face strict liability for its introduction into the consumer marketplace.
  • Redhibition: The product is so defective, it is effectively useless and no reasonable buyer would have made the purchase had he known the truth about the product and its tendencies.
  • Violations of Federal Regulation: Defendants violated federal drug regulations by failing to properly reveal true side effects of Risperdal.

In sum, the plaintiff is seeking compensation for his medical expenses, pain and suffering, anxiety, mental anguish, lost wages, lost earning capacity, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. The plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $75,000, in an amount to be determined by jury verdict.