Man awarded $2.5M in damages after Risperdal gave him 46DD breasts
AN ALABAMA man who grew enormous breasts after taking an antipsychotic drug as a boy was awarded $2.5 million in damages in a Philadelphia court yesterday against the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that makes the pill.
A Common Pleas jury concluded that Austin Pledger, now 20, 'was not adequately warned' that he would grow size 46DD breasts as a side effect of using Risperdal, produced by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, according to his lawyer, Thomas Kline.
'This trial is important publicly,' Kline told the Daily News yesterday, 'because it provided for the first time a public window into the real risks of this drug.'
Pledger, a native of Thorsby, Ala., was first prescribed the drug in 2002 by his family physician, Kline said.
At the time, Risperdal was not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in children - Pledger, who has autism, was 8 years old when the prescription was written - and its label reported that the risk of gynecomastia, a condition that causes men to grow female breasts, was low, according to Kline.