Risperdal is a second-generation antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and irritability caused by autism. Unfortunately, one side effect of the drug is that it may cause gynecomastia – a condition where elevated levels of a hormone (prolactin) cause increased breast development, especially in males. Although Johnson & Johnson is facing numerous lawsuits claiming that they deliberately concealed that fact for years, if the Internet is to be believed (and in this case it seems like it should be), many victims have yet to pursue any legal action.
For those of you who may be unaware, Reddit is a forum-based social media platform in which news and entertainment topics are shared and discussed. Naturally, there are some anonymous individuals trying to instigate conflict (also known as “trolls”) on the site, but there’s also thoughtful debate and even a genuine sense of community that exists on Reddit.
On January 30, an article entitled, “Mother Brought to Tears Hearing Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal Tactics,” was posted to the site, and it elicited a great deal of conversation. There are currently more than 700 comments in the thread, many of which point toward the need for more legal action in product liability cases against irresponsible pharmaceutical companies.
The person who originally created the post attached the link to the article and wrote that he too had experienced gynecomastia, as well as permanent sexual dysfunction. The following is a portion of that discussion:
BagOfDucks (Original Poster): I’ve taken this drug before, it did the same thing to me. It nuked my testosterone levels forever. It also made me permanently sexually disabled/permanent sexual dysfunction which has ruined my life.
Jack-Hat: You need to talk to a doctor and lawyer. Literally stop whatever you’re doing and get a lawyer right now and ask him if he knows a doctor after you get the money from suing.
BagOfDucks: I’ll consider getting one but I’m not sure if the legal expenses will be worth the pay out if the case wins and I’m scared of a huge company like J&J hiring the best to avoid losing/paying out.
ChalieB220: Consulting with a lawyer is generally free and they usually don’t take cases they don’t feel have a strong chance of winning or settling.
Amish_Rake_Fight: Hi, I’m a lawyer. Quick consultation for you: This is a good case. Find a lawyer who will do it … and sue them. Lawyers who charge a lot do so because of their resources. They know experts personally who can testify on your behalf.
This exchange highlights the tendency among the general public to roll their eyes at our society’s knee-jerk impulse to sue. And although many people dismiss important legal matters because of their bias against or lack of information about the legal community, not all legal actions are the same. In this instance, the plaintiff appears to have a legitimate case against Johnson & Johnson; in fact, the U.S. Justice Department has said that Johnson & Johnson illegally marketed the drug, and the company reportedly promoted prescribing Risperdal for children before obtaining FDA approval. These are just and reasonable grounds for pursuing legal action that could even help create change in an industry that seems to often prioritize profits over ethics.
Aside from the original poster on the Reddit thread, there were dozens of other individuals who also detailed their negative experiences dealing with the side effects of Risperdal and other prescription medications. The prevailing lament was that these medications had been prescribed to help relieve mental and physical anguish but were, ironically, intensifying their suffering. If more of these victims were willing to take action against companies like Johnson & Johnson, they could raise awareness and even help prevent these sorts of issues in the future. Whether it be a pharmaceutical giant or a drunk driver, negligent and irresponsible parties should be held accountable for the harm they cause, but the only way to make that happen is for victims to stand up for their rights and seek justice.
As evidenced in the Reddit thread, victims of product liability and personal injury are often hesitant to pursue legal action for a number of reasons. Some individuals feel that they cannot afford it. Others are overwhelmed by the complexities of the legal system. Some even feel that they don’t have the right to defend themselves. Still others are intimidated by the power wielded by major corporations and their vast legal teams. These are natural concerns, but many times, all it takes is a brief discussion with a qualified attorney to relieve any anxiety you may have.
For example, Crosley Law Firm offers free consultations to answer questions, help clients understand the merits of their case, and offer advice about what the best course of action is. Crosley Law Firm also has a no-fee policy, which means that the client will not have to pay unless or until a settlement is reached. Even then, payment is just taken out as a percentage of the settlement (usually about 33%), meaning that no out-of-pocket expenses are ever required. Furthermore, when justice is on your side, a qualified, experienced attorney will make sure that there is nothing to fear from a large corporation’s legal team.
The personal injury attorneys at Crosley Law Firm have a great deal of experience with product liability cases such as the ones dealing with bad pharmaceuticals created and marketed by Johnson & Johnson. If you or someone you know has experienced personal injury, even if it is not related to product liability, we are here to help you seek the justice and compensation to which you are entitled. Please give us a call at (877) 535-4529 or visit us online to learn more about the Crosley Approach and the resources our firm has to help win your case. Our skilled and knowledgeable staff are eager to schedule your free consultation with an attorney and to learn more about your case. If we feel that we can help, we will be happy to represent you under our no-fee policy, and we pledge to do everything in our power to make sure that you receive the settlement or verdict that you deserve.
BagOfDucks. (2015, February 5). Mother brought to tears hearing Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal tactics. [Msg 1]. Message posted to https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/2uroi1/mother_of_son_who_grew_breasts_from_taking
Hyman, Kelly. (2015, January 21). Lawsuits piling up against makers of Risperdal, Invega. JD Supra. Retrieved from http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/lawsuits-piling-up-against-makers-of-ris-54265/
Sell, David. (2015, January 30). Mother brought to tears hearing Johnson & Johnson’s Risperdal tactics. Philly.com. Retrieved from http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillypharma/Mother-brought-to-tears-hearing-Johnson–Johnsons-Risperdal-tactics—.html?c=r
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