Johnson & Johnson on Oct. 3 agreed to settle five Pennsylvania state court cases in which plaintiffs allege that the atypical antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused adolescent boys to develop enlarged breasts, plaintiffs’ counsel told Mealey Publications (A.B., et al. v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 100100649, S.B., et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., May Term 2010 No. 3629, J.K., et al. v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., January Term 2010 No. 00652, C.C., et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., May Term 2010 No. 03672, and Koch v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., March Term 2010 No. 00652, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
Terms of the settlements were not disclosed
One case, A.B., et al. v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (No. 100100649), was in trial in the Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court. Plaintiff counsel Stephen Sheller of Sheller P.C. in Philadelphia said that prior to the settlements, he sought to introduce an expert opinion by former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler.
Sheller said jury selection had begun in another case, and three others were scheduled for trial this year. A sixth case settled in September during the first day of trial.
Plaintiffs’ Claims, Defense Counter
The plaintiffs are all males who allege that they were given Risperdal during puberty and developed enlarged breasts. Defendant Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that makes Risperdal, says the plaintiff’s breast development was caused by puberty.
Judge Arnold L. New was presiding in the case of A.B.
The Risperdal cases are centralized in the Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court complex litigation docket (In Re: Risperdal, March Term 2010 No. 296, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.)
Sheller told Mealey Publications that he has about 100 other Risperdal cases filed in the Common Pleas Court.
Other Injuries Claimed
Prior Risperdal litigation has alleged that the drug caused severe weight gain, hyperglycemia and diabetes.
A.B. and Rolen are represented by Sheller and Brian J. McCormick Jr. of Sheller P.C. in Philadelphia and Rudy Gonzalez Jr. of Hilliard Munoz Gonzalez in Corpus Christi, Texas.
J&J is represented in A.B.’s case by Stephen J. Imbriglia and Stephen J. Finley Jr. of Gibbons in Philadelphia; Kenneth A. Murphy, Melissa A. Graff and Gregg W. Mackuse of Drinker, Biddle & Reath in Philadelphia; Thuy T. Bui of Drinker Biddle in New York; Vincent J. Montalto and Christopher D. Liwski of Drinker Biddle in Florham Park, N.J.; Michael T. Mervis and Victoria L. Loughery of Proskauer Rose in New York; and William V. Essig of Drinker Biddle in Chicago.