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Enforcement Sought in Risperdal Settlement Agreement

Dozens of plaintiffs who had filed a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson had reached settlement agreements on January 28, 2013. However, it recently came to light that the drug maker is allegedly trying to back out of the already agreed-upon settlement deal. Attorneys for the 77 plaintiffs filed a Motion to Enforce Settlement on November 5, 2013. Judge Arnold New will review the motion.

Dispute over co-defendants

According to the motion, Johnson & Johnson is attempting to change the terms of the Risperdal settlement over an issue with their co-defendants, Excerpta Medica, Inc. and Elsevier, Inc. The 77 plaintiffs claim that throughout the months of settlement talks and status conferences, the drug manufacturer never discussed including their co-defendants in any settlement terms. Now, the plaintiffs claim the drug manufacturer is arguing against the terms of the settlement they’ve already agreed to because Johnson & Johnson feels that their co-defendants should also be included in the agreement.

The motion states that none of the parties had discussed in either oral or written communications the condition that these co-defendants were to be considered a released party. Furthermore, on September 12, 2013, trial dates for cases that are solely against those co-defendants had been set with Case Management Orders.

The Motion to Enforce Settlement requests that Judge New hold the defendant to the previously agreed-upon settlement deal. The exact terms of the settlement deal and the compensation the plaintiffs are expected to receive were never disclosed to the public.

Risperdal induced gynecomastia

Risperdal (risperidone) is a prescription medication intended for use in adults with schizophrenia. It is classified as an atypical antipsychotic medication. However, the medication has also been prescribed for off-label use to children to treat conditions such as bipolar disorder, behavioral disorders, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), and non-specific disorders involving aggression and irritability.

Many patients and their families filed a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit after severe side effects came to light. Many boys developed severe gynecomastia, which refers to the enlargement of the breast tissue in males. In some cases, the condition was so severe that the male patients measured a 38D cup size. Many of these patients had to undergo surgery to remove the excess breast tissue.

The slew of lawsuits claim that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn patients and healthcare professionals about these potential risks. Those who filed a Risperdal lawsuit demand compensatory damages for medical expenses, as well as damages for the significant and ongoing psychological effects experienced by the young patients.

J&J recently agreed to pay $2.2 billion

In other recent Risperdal news, The New York Times reported on November 4 that Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay out over $2.2 billion over complaints that it inappropriately marketed Risperdal to children, seniors, and those with developmental disabilities. In the history of U.S. litigation, this is the third-largest settlement involving a pharmaceutical company. This settlement agreement includes cases involving two of its other drugs, Invega and Natrecor.

As part of the agreement, Johnson & Johnson will pay civil penalties of $1.72 billion. The company has also agreed to criminal fines and forfeiture of $485 million.