The American pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has been obliged to pay $ 8 billion in disciplinary compensation to a man who claimed that the company did not warn him that an antipsychotic drug could cause the growth of the size of his breasts, which has already happened to him.
The Philadelphia jury sentenced Nicholas Murray, 26, the author of one of thousands of pending cases in the state.
Murray’s defense said Johnson & Johnson’s Jansen Pharmaceuticals was putting a “commission on patients” in marketing Risperdal.
Johnson & Johnson plans to challenge the ruling, which it said was “grossly exaggerated.
The US giant is facing lawsuits related to the implantation of vaginal nets and powders for children said to be tainted with asbestos, as well as a continuing legal dispute over the company’s role in the crisis of opium addiction in the United States.
Earlier this year, the company was obliged to pay $ 572 million for its role in fueling the opium addiction crisis in Oklahoma.
The company recently approved a $ 20.4 million settlement with two Ohio counties over allegations of fueling the crisis there.
The escalating legal bills against the company have alarmed some investors, but the company is still making strong profits.
In the case of Risperdal, the case says that the breasts of Nicholas Murray grew after doctors prescribed it in 2003.
A psychiatrist prescribed Risperdal to Murray after he was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.
Risperdal is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but the law allows doctors to prescribe the drug for any condition they deem appropriate.
Johnson & Johnson asserts its confidence that the court verdict will be overturned, saying the court has prevented the company’s legal team from providing “essential evidence” in the case.
Johnson & Johnson faces a series of complaints in the courts of a number of states, failing to warn appropriately of the side effects of Risperdal, including Pennsylvania, California and Missouri.
A 2015 jury sentenced Nicholas Murray to $ 1.75 million in a previous case, after concluding that the company had failed to warn its customers of the risks.
The verdict was upheld by an appeals court last year, but it reduced the compensation to $ 680,000.