A Pennsylvania appeals court upheld a $70 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit charging its Risperdal anti-psychotic drug caused a man to grow female breasts and also ruled that punitive damages may be available in the case.
In addition to upholding the verdict for Tennessee resident Andrew Yount, the Pennsylvania Superior Court Tuesday sent back to the Philadelphia trial judge the issue of punitive damages in the case, potentially raising the stakes for J&J. The company was hit last month with $8 billion in punitive damages in another Philadelphia Risperdal case.
J&J and its Janssen unit said in securities filings this year the company still faces more than 13,000 suits claiming Risperdal use led to breast development. Plaintiffs allege J&J hid that potential side effect in an effort to turn Risperdal into a blockbuster drup for the company.