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An update on the fight against the side effects of Risperdal

When you're in a fight, you don't necessarily win every round. When the cause is just, however, you keep fighting.

A recent example of this is the ongoing litigation against the makers of a dangerous drug called Risperdal. Though it is marketed to the public as an effective antipsychotic drug, Risperdal is associated with a terrible condition called gynecomastia, in which boys and young men end up growing abnormal breasts due to the drug's side effects.

Risperdal is made by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, the huge drug maker. Nationally, thousands of lawsuits have already been filed due to the abnormal breast tissue issue to which Risperdal is linked.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would not be hearing a case filed by a Pennsylvania law firm that sought to challenge the role of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in failing to properly regulate Risperdal. The law firm filed the case as the plaintiff (the party filing the case) and not in the usual role where a law firm files a case on behalf of a victim.

A federal appeals court had ruled that the law firm did not have the legal right (known as "standing") to bring such a lawsuit against the FDA. The appeals court reasoned that the law firm did not have standing to sue the government because the firm was a third party, not a victim.

This procedural ruling, however, does not affect the status of lawsuits in which victims are seeking compensation for injuries. Some victims have already obtained substantial compensation for their injuries, including a boy in Tennessee who was awarded $70 million last year. The boy alleged that Risperdal caused him to develop female-type breasts.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by Risperdal or any other dangerous or defective drug, we encourage you to talk with us in a free consultation to learn about your legal options. Note: if the Risperdal victim is an adult, the statute of limitations will likely have expired based on a ruling of the trial court overseeing the Risperdal litigation.

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