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Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay man $8bn over breast development

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US drug agency Johnson & Johnson has been instructed to pay $8bn (£6.6bn) in punitive damages to a person over claims he was not warned that an antipsychotic drug may result in breast development.

A Philadelphia jury made the award to Nicholas Murray, 26, whose case was certainly one of hundreds pending within the state.

His legal professionals argued that J&J subsidiary Janssen put “income over sufferers” in advertising and marketing the drug Risperdal.

J&J will enchantment the ruling, which it mentioned was “grossly disproportionate”.

The US large can be going through court docket challenges over vaginal mesh implants and child powder allegedly tainted with asbestos. That is along with an ongoing authorized battle over its position within the US opioid dependancy disaster.

Earlier this yr, the corporate was ordered to pay $572m for its half in fuelling Oklahoma’s opioid dependancy disaster. It not too long ago agreed to a $20.4m settlement with two counties within the US state of Ohio over claims it fuelled the disaster there.

The corporate’s mounting authorized payments have precipitated concern amongst some traders, however its earnings have remained sturdy.

In Risperdal lawsuit mentioned Mr Murray developed breasts after his docs started prescribing him the drug in 2003. A psychologist prescribed the drug after diagnosing him with autism spectrum dysfunction.

Risperdal is authorised for the therapy of schizophrenia and bipolar dysfunction, however docs can legally prescribe drugs for any situation they see match.

The corporate mentioned it’s assured the ruling will probably be overturned, and mentioned the court docket prevented their authorized staff from presenting “key proof” on the drug’s labelling.

J&J is going through a collection of complaints in state courts for failing to correctly warn of Risperdal’s unwanted effects, together with in Pennsylvania, California and Missouri.

A jury in 2015 awarded Mr Murray $1.75m after discovering the corporate was negligent in failing to warn shoppers of the dangers.

A state appeals court docket upheld the decision in final yr, however decreased it to $680,000.

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