Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $8 billion to a man who grew breasts after taking the antipsychotic drug Risperdal, the company having failed to warn him about the side effects.
The Philadelphia jury ruled Tuesday that the man claimed the drug company did not give him fair warning that the antipsychotic drug, which is used to treat schizophrenia, irritability associated with autism, and bipolar disorder, could lead to breast growth in men and boys, USA Today reported.
The drug company said in a statement that the ruling was “grossly disproportionate” and had hoped the decision would be overturned.
The plaintiff, Nicholas Murray, took the drug at age nine for off-label treatment to address sleeping disorders associated with autism.
Once he realized his breasts started growing as a result of taking the drug, he sued Johnson & Johnson in 2013, accusing the company of not warning doctors or consumers of Risperdal’s side effects.
In 2015, a jury awarded Murray $1.75 million, but a judge later reduced the settlement to $680,000.
Murray, who is now 26, was awarded $8 billion by the jury in Philadelphia, but legal experts say that figure is likely to be reduced.
Johnson & Johnson is facing thousands of other lawsuits claiming that Risperdal caused abnormal drug growth in males, also known as gynecomastia, by not adequately notifying consumers of the risks associated with the drug.
“This jury, as have other juries in other litigations, once again imposed punitive damages on a corporation that valued profits over safety,” attorneys Tom Kline and Jason Itkin said in a statement. “Johnson & Johnson and Janssen chose billions over children.”