Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Paula Patrick ordered Janssen Pharmaceuticals to pay an additional $6.66 million in delay damages to plaintiff Andrew Yount and his family after they recovered a $70 million jury verdict last month.
The damages were calculated at 4.25% annually starting April 16, 2014, when the complaint was served, and increasing to 4.5% from April 16, 2016, to July 1, 2016, the date of the verdict.
The case is Andrew Yount, et. al., vs. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. et. al., Case No. 130402094.
Yount began taking Risperdal in 2003 to treat psychiatric problems. When the drug caused him to develop gynecomastia, or the abnormal growth of breast tissue, he filed suit in April 2013.
During the trial, plaintiff attorney Jason Itkin of Arnold & Itkin LLP in Houston argued that Jannsen knew at the time that Risperdal was associated with spikes of the prolactin hormone, which causes the gynecomastia.
It was the fifth Risperdal lawsuit tried in Philadelphia, and by far the largest verdict so far. Earlier verdicts ranged from $500,000 to $2.2 million. The jury also found that Janssen “intentionally falsified, destroyed or concealed records.”
Lawyers for the plaintiff demonstrated that Janssen, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, attempted to downplay the risks of the drug causing gynecomastia, a condition in which boys develop female breast tissue. While the drug was initially approved for a small market, those suffering from bipolar and schizophrenia-related disorders, Janssen reportedly worked to expand doctors’ recommendations of the drug to include treatments for dementia, behavioral problems, and autism. At the time the plaintiff began taking the drug the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had only approved it for adult use.
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