A state court jury in Philadelphia Tuesday concluded the Janssen's wrongful marketing of its Risperdal drug to teens warranted the punishment award in the first Pennsylvania case in which such damages could be awarded under an appellate ruling.
Pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson must pay a total of $8 billion in punitive damages to a man who claims the company didn't warn young men that the drug, Risperdal could cause breast growth. Murray sued the company in 2013 eventually being awarded $1.75 million in damages, according to a release by Murray's lawyers following the verdict in 2015. In a statement, the company said it was "precluded from presenting. key evidence".
"This jury, as have other juries in other litigations, once again imposed punitive damages on a corporation that valued profits over safety and profits over patients", Murray's lawyers, Tom Kline and Jason Itkin, said.
Johnson & Johnson did not respond to Gizmodo's request for comment Wednesday morning but told the New York Times that it would work to set aside the "excessive and unfounded verdict".
In Risperdal lawsuit said Mr Murray developed breasts after his doctors began prescribing him the drug in 2003.
Risperdal, accredited for the remedy of adults by the US Meals and Drug Administration in 1993, introduced in some $737 million (672 million euros) in gross sales in 2018.
In New Zealand the drug is called Risperidone. His mother took him off the drug in 2008.
But since 1994, when J&J put Risperdal on the market, the drug has drawn a significant amount of attention and controversy, beyond undisclosed side effects. In some cases, however, the gynecomastia, as it seems in Murray's case, is irreversible.
J&J could still get a favorable ruling on appeal that would give the company leverage in dealing with the remaining cases, said Benjamin McMichael, a professor at the Alabama School of Law who has researched punitive damage awards.
The case marks Johnson & Johnson's second legal payout this month. J&J is also facing numerous legal claims over its alleged role in the USA opioid addiction and overdose crisis.
But it was another costly setback ford drugs firm Johnson & Johnson, which is battling separate damages claims worth billions of dollars over the opioid crisis. The company is appealing both decisions and denying those allegations. On Oct. 1, it agreed to pay $20 million to settle an opioid lawsuit with two OH counties.
Out of the 13,000 lawsuits brought against Johnson & Johnson specifically for Risperdal as a potential cause of gynecomastia, this was the largest award given out to date.