Risperdal lawsuits in Pennsylvania continue to move forward with the first bellwether trial being postponed on November 3rd and the second expected to begin in early January of 2015. The suits largely allege and focus on the use of the drug Risperdal and gynecomastia in males.
Several hundred boys that took this drug have suffered Gynecomastia, the swelling of the breast tissue in boys and men which is brought on by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. The disorder can affect one or both breasts and often times unevenly.
Generally speaking, gynecomastia isn’t a serious problem, but it can be difficult to cope with the condition as many men suffer embarrassment as well having pain in their breasts. Some cases go away on their own while others require medication and/or surgery.
Court documents allege an estimated 900 Risperdal lawsuits or more have been filed in a mass tort litigation that is now underway in Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas on behalf of those that contend they have suffered gynecomastia and other serious complications due to use of Risperdal. Among these are allegations that Johnson & Johnson, along with its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, concealed the drug’s serious side effects while failing to warn doctors and patients of the inherent health risks including the association with male breast growth.
Bellwether Lawsuit Approach
By definition Bellwether is an indicator of future trends. The courts utilize a Bellwether approach when numerous plaintiffs are proceeding on the same claim and/or theory and there is no feasible way for the courts to handle the enormously large caseload. This method has been used in several cases.
To further explain, the judge and parties select cases that are typically representative of issues that will arise in every injured person’s case. The goal of this method is to allow all parties a good indication of what is likely to happen in future trials and to advance pending litigation in a timely manner. That being said, the core reasoning behind this approach is that Bellwether verdicts provides the judge and involved parties with enough information to determine if groups of cases should be settled and what might be a reasonable settlement range.
According to court documents, a Bellwether trial was scheduled in the Court of Common Pleas in 2012 but J&J settled on the first day of jury trial. The next round is slated to begin in 2015.
What should you do?
Any health concerns should be promptly discussed directly with your medical doctor. Patients that have developed gynecomastia from Risperdal use may be entitled to compensation for pain, suffering, embarrassment, compensation of medical bills as well as lost wages and more. Consult an attorney to discuss you rights and options sooner rather than later.