Man Sues J&J Claiming Their Medication Caused Him To Grow Breasts, Company To Pay ₹56.9 Crores

Men have many a time donned the avatar of a woman, for fun, work or even in jest. From Bollywood actors to family members, men impersonate women by wearing sarees, putting on makeup and that extra cushion on their chest to create fake breasts, but every man low-key fears developing man-boobs in real life. And nothing can prepare a man for developing breasts because of some side-effects of medicine!

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Nicholas Murray from Maryland was put on an antipsychotic drug, Risperdal manufactured by J&J from 2003 to 2008, when he was a child to treat his difficulty sleeping, most likely arising from autism. The drug is mainly used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability arising from autism.

Murray had filed a lawsuit alleging that he had developed gynecomastia, a condition that causes men to grow breasts, after taking the drug manufactured by the brand, reports India Today.

In his lawsuit, Murray claimed that the company was well-aware of the risk of gynecomastia caused by the consumption of Risperdal’s but they failed to provide thorough information about the same to the doctors and healthcare centers.

Back in 2015, a judge had originally awarded Murray a compensation of $680,000,(Rs. 4.83 Crores) but this didn’t include punitive damages. And Murray wanted to claim the punitive damages too so, another judge later ruled that a jury could award those damages.

So, the Philadelphia court has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $8 billion (Rs. 56.9 crores) to Murray as punitive damage.

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Murray is just one of the several plaintiffs that have accused the pharmaceutical brand in a mass tort case that alleges Risperdal’s gynecomastia side-effects. Plaintiffs were barred from seeking punitive damages since 2014. But a Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling in 2018 cleared the way for punitive damages awards, stating that the law of each plaintiff’s state should instead apply.

Meanwhile, a company’s spokesperson said the company is confident that the “grossly disproportionate” award will be overturned. He also added that they were prevented from presenting “a meaningful defense” at the trial as the court excluded key evidence.

“This award for a single plaintiff stands in stark contrast with the initial $680,000 compensatory award and is a clear violation of due process. The United States Supreme Court precedent dictates that punitive damages awards that are a double-digit multiplier of the compensatory award should be set aside,” he said in a statement.

On the other hand, Murray’s lawyer has strongly critisiced the brand, reports Forbes.

Professor Carl Tobias of the University of Richmond School of Law, however, said that he expects the punitive damages to be lowered on appeal.

Tobias said the verdict was just about sending a message so that drug manufacturers be more careful about providing proper information about the side-effects of the drugs to the doctors and consumers.

Do you think the brand was given a just verdict? What should the ideal punishment be if a brand’s medicine made you develop breasts?
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