Over five years of litigation, nearly 20,000 patients have filed suit over Risperdal’s link to gynecomastia, a condition marked by breast tissue growth in men. Dozens of these men and boys have already secured financial compensation.
- More than $75 million in jury awards
- 100+ out-of-court settlements
Did you or a loved one develop gynecomastia after being prescribed Risperdal? Our attorneys are here to help. Contact us now for a free consultation.
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Thousands of families have filed Risperdal lawsuits against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, claiming the company’s antipsychotic drug causes gynecomastia. In their complaints, young men say that after beginning to take the drug, their breasts grew abnormally large, causing serious psychological trauma and often subjecting them to the ridicule of their peers.
Around 20,000 gynecomastia lawsuits are now pending in federal and state courts around the country. Legal experts believe that numerous young men may still be able to file their own claims against Janssen.
Filing Suit Is Scary. Here’s Why You Should Consider It.
In fact, the company appears highly motivated to settle these claims. Janssen has already entered undisclosed settlement agreements with dozens of the first plaintiffs to file lawsuits over the drug’s link to gynecomastia. And juries in Pennsylvania have awarded Risperdal victims over $75 million in at least 3 high-profile trials. In one case, a jury in Philadelphia ordered Janssen to pay a Maryland boy with gynecomastia $1.75 million in compensation, according to Law360. After another lengthy trial, a young man who was prescribed Risperdal “off-label” at the age of 19 secured $75 million in damages.
But even after these recent developments, which should give hope to current and future plaintiffs, the prospect of filing a lawsuit can be daunting.
Time and money are always a concern, especially under these difficult circumstances. Some patients say they’ve even been forced to undergo mastectomy procedures, and continue to face long-term medical expenses, all while dealing with the emotional toll of this sensitive, misunderstood condition. The burden placed on patients by Janssen’s alleged wrongdoing cannot be overstated. That’s also the best reason to file suit.
3 Tips To Find The Right Lawyer
You and your family may face significant challenges already, and filing a lawsuit might sound like just one more undue hardship. But finding the right Risperdal lawyer to handle your case can make all the difference.
Select a truly compassionate lawyer, one with experience handling dangerous drug cases, and you’ll already be steps ahead on the path to justice.
1. Start Your Research Online – But Don’t Let It End There.
There are more than 1 million attorneys in the US, but not all of them have much experience handling matters like a Risperdal lawsuit.
First, you’ll need to narrow down your options to those attorneys (preferably local) who regularly litigate product liability lawsuits. Risperdal is a pharmaceutical drug, and most of the allegations in Risperdal lawsuits come down to the way the drug was marketed and how well (or incompletely) its side effects were publicized. That’s the wheel-house of product liability lawyers, but you’ll want to go a step further and find an attorney with experience taking on large pharmaceutical companies.
After doing a preliminary Google search, take a look at each lawyer’s website with an eye to their bio page. Have they litigated dangerous drug lawsuits before? Can they claim any success in those lawsuits? How long have they been doing this? Generally, the more experience the better.
Now take a look at their past verdicts and settlements, the compensation they’ve been able to secure for other clients. Most attorney websites will have a “Verdicts & Settlements” page or a “Results” page; that’s where you’ll find the victories they want to publicize.
Finding an attorney online is fine (in this day and age, how else would you go about it?), but try to use your contacts in the real world, too. Ask friends and family if they can recommend a lawyer in your area. People you know and trust can be an even better resource than Google since they’ve actually interacted with these attorneys. On the internet, all you’ll see is what a lawyer wants you to see.
2. Don’t Hesitate To Call – It’s Usually Free
Most product liability attorneys offer free consultations, so after you’ve narrowed down your list of options, start calling them up. Go into the call with a few questions lined up, but make sure you’re also getting a sense of the attorney’s personality. This is someone you’ll be working with a lot; you should be comfortable with them as a person, in addition to a legal representative.
Here are some questions to bring up:
- How long have you been in practice?
- Can you tell me about the experience you’ve had in similar cases?
- What percentage of cases have you won in the past?
- Can you refer me to other clients for a testimonial?
- How do you handle fees?
As you’re gathering these answers, pay attention to the attorney’s demeanor. Do they seem sympathetic to your situation? Concerned about your wellbeing? Are they likable?
3. Check Into Their History
You’ve found a great attorney, someone you like and believe can properly handle the case! Before signing anything, check with third-parties to see if they’ve been formally disciplined for anything in the past.
Every state has a disciplinary organization, which investigates allegations of ethical misconduct on the part of licensed attorneys. Make sure your attorney has a spotless record before making the choice.
Follow-up on those references, too. You can learn a lot by speaking to people who have worked with a lawyer before.
Why Are Families Filing Risperdal Lawsuits?
Former patients aren’t the first to sue Janssen over Risperdal. Between 2004 and 2015, numerous government organizations, including 36 state governments and the US Department of Justice, have taken the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary to task for marketing Risperdal illegally.
Government prosecutors say Janssen promoted Risperdal for unapproved uses, in violation of federal law, as well as hiding the drug’s link to severe side effects. In Kentucky’s case, gynecomastia was named explicitly, as a potential effect of Risperdal that Janssen failed to disclose to the public. In the course of an aggressive marketing campaign, the company failed to notify patients of Risperdal’s effect on prolactin, a hormone that, out of balance, can lead to accelerated breast development in males, according to Kentucky’s Attorney General Jack Conway.
Kentucky’s case ultimately settled on December 22, 2015, for a total of $15.5 million, Kentucky news station WDRB reports. But that settlement didn’t secure compensation for the victims of Janssen’s alleged wrong-doing. Despite Janssen settling numerous lawsuits with the states, and pleading guilty to criminal charges filed by the Justice Department, the company must be forced to reimburse actual patients through individual legal action. That’s why so many families have chosen to file their own civil lawsuits against the company.