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First Risperdal Trial Results in $2.5M Verdict

A jury has awarded $2.5M to an autistic boy’s family. The lengthy trial included evidence of Janssen Pharmaceutical’s alleged plan to obscure evidence for years that the drug was linked to the growth of female breast tissue in adolescent boys.The jury based its decision, at least in part, in its finding that the drug company failed to warn the boy’s parents and physicians of the risks associated with the drug.

This is a key verdict that will play a vital role in the valuation of the thousands of Risperdal cases that have been filed in recent years. Of course, each case is different based on the facts, but this is an important benchmark for valuation. However, the two most troubling side-effects that are the subject of lawsuits and which are reportedly associated with Risperdal are:

Breast Development in Boys

Gynecomastia is enlargement or development of breast tissue in males.  It is more common and particularly disturbing in children and adolescents.  The development of gynecomastia is usually a permanent change that will require surgical removal by a reconstructive surgeon.  Gynecomastia has been attributed to Risperdal’s stimulation of prolactin, a hormone common in women who are pregnant or nursing.  Adolescents or boys who develop breast tissue suffer not only physical changes but also severe emotional trauma.

Lactation in Girls

Lactation in girls who are not of child-bearing age and of women who are not pregnant or nursing has been seen with Risperdal use.  Girls may develop breast tissue prematurely and the development will be permanent.  No long-term damage is seen other than premature development and resulting emotional trauma.

Other less common side-effects reportedly associated with Risperdal are:

  • Movement Disorders such as akathesia (restlessness), akinesia (inability to move or hesitational movement), Tardive Dyskinesia (abnormal movement of face, shoulders, arms and legs), Parkinson’s like tremors, Torticolis (stiffening of the tongue, which may cause difficulty breathing).

All of the movement disorders may be permanent even after the medication has been discontinued.  Many patients also require additional medication to control the symptoms.

  • Diabetes

Risperdal has been allegedly associated with an increased risk of development or worsening of diabetes.  The exact relationship is unknown.

  • Death in the Elderly

Risperdal has been allegedly associated with mortality in elderly dementia patients.  The FDA required a Black Box warning regarding use of Risperdal in the elderly. Patients who have died from Risperdal use had an actual cause of death of adverse events such as cardiac failure, pneumonia and cerebrovascular events (stroke).


If you or a family member has suffered adverse health, including but not limited to boys growing female breasts, after being prescribed Risperdal, please call Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 923-7497 for a confidential case evaluation. Attorney Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, automobile accident cases, personal injury cases, dental malpractice and medical malpractice lawsuits for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years in and around Atlanta, Georgia and its surrounding areas, including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.