Risperdal is a powerful anti-psychotic medication that can cause young boys to develop elevated levels of prolactin, a hormone that triggers the development of breast tissue (gynecomastia) and milk production (lactation).
The condition is called gynecomastia and it can be devastating for young boys, who may require surgery to remove the breast tissue.
The jury in New York found that Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and its parent company Johnson & Johnson failed to warn that Risperdal can cause gynecomastia and hyperprolactinemia (elevated prolactin).
The lawsuit was filed by Shaquil Byrd, a man from New York who was prescribed and used Risperdal from approximately 2001 through 2008, when he was still a child. He developed gynecomastia, began lactating, and required bilateral breast reduction and removal surgery.
The jury awarded Byrd $1 million in compensatory damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, disfigurement, and other losses.
In November 2013, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay over $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines to settle accusations that it illegally marketed Risperdal for unapproved uses in children.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York — Shaquil Byrd v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al. — Case No. 14-820.