$8bn punitive damages award for man’s enlarged breasts

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US drug firm Johnson & Johnson has been told to pay $8bn in punitive damages to a man over claims he was not warned that an antipsychotic drug could lead to breast growth, reports BBC News. A Philadelphia jury made the award to Nicholas Murray, 26, whose case was one of thousands pending in the state. His lawyers argued that J&J subsidiary Janssen put “profits over patients” in marketing the drug Risperdal.

J&J will appeal the ruling, which it said was “grossly disproportionate”.

The report says the US giant is also facing court challenges over vaginal mesh implants and baby powder allegedly tainted with asbestos. That’s in addition to an ongoing legal battle over its role in the US opioid addiction crisis.

The company is quoted in the report as saying it is confident the ruling will be overturned, and said the court prevented their legal team from presenting “key evidence” on the drug’s labelling.

J&J is facing a series of complaints in state courts for failing to properly warn of Risperdal’s side effects, including in Pennsylvania, California and Missouri. Risperdal is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but doctors can legally prescribe medicine for any condition they see fit.

BBC News report

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