Pennsylvania’s sixth trial of a Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit came to an abrupt end on Tuesday, after the judge overseeing the case granted Janssen Pharmaceutical’s motion for compulsory nonsuit. According to a report from The Legal Intelligencer, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Sean Kennedy dismissed the suit after determining that testimony provided by the Plaintiff’s causation expert was inadequate.
“At the conclusion of my research and my staff’s research, it is my opinion that under Texas law, Dr. Solomon’s testimony is legally insufficient to prove causation in this case, and as such, I am granting defendant’s motion for compulsory nonsuit,” Judge Kennedy said on Tuesday.
The Plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Mark P. Solomon, has testified in all of the Risperdal gynecomastia trials that have been convened in Philadelphia. However, The Legal Intelligencer notes that this is the first to be presided over by Judge Kennedy.
Dr. Solomon testified that the Plaintiff developed gynecomastia (excessive male breast growth), in 2007. Janssen’s motion, which was filed on December 9th, noted that his opinion was based solely on a photo, and argued that Dr. Solomon “leaped to the conclusion that Risperdal caused Plaintiff’s alleged gynecomastia without making any effort to satisfy the requirement of general causation.”
An attorney for the Plaintiff told The Legal Intelligencer that Judge Kennedy’s ruling was unexpected, and asserted that the case “had more than sufficient expert support under the governing law.” He went on to express confidence that the ruling would be reversed.
The Risperdal lawsuit was the sixth gynecomastia case to head to trial in Philadelphia, where thousands of lawsuits involving the drug’s alleged side effects have been centralized in a mass tort program. In July, $70 million – the litigation’s largest verdict thus far– was awarded to a teenager who experienced the growth of female-like breasts shortly after he began taking Risperdal as a five-year-old. Three other trials have gone the way of plaintiffs, with damage awards ranging from $500,000 to $2.5 million.
A Pennsylvania jury did decline to award damages in one case, after determining that there was not enough evidence to conclude that Risperdal had caused the plaintiff’s breast growth. However, they did find that the safety warnings provided to patients and doctors were inadequate.