Philadelphia, Ala. — A man with autism who grew 46DD breasts due to a medicine he was taking has been awarded $2.5 million after winning a lawsuit filed against Janssen Pharmaceuticals— a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and maker of Risperdal, an anti-psychotic drug commonly used as treatment for individuals with autism.
According to the lawsuit, Austin Pledger, his family and his doctor were not adequately warned that Risperdal could cause breast enlargement of up to 46DD in men.
Pledger was prescribed the medicine by his family doctor in 2002, when he was still eight years old. Back then, Risperdal’s label reported that the risk of having gynecomastia (enlargement of the breasts) as a side effect was low. This label was changed in 2006, where it was indicated that the drug contained prolactin— a hormone responsible for breast growth— in high levels, but Pledger had already grown 46DD breasts by then.
A spokesperson for Janssen said that the company is “disappointed” by the ruling, and that if feels that “the verdict should be overturned.” The firm asserted their claim that Pledger, his family, and his doctor were clearly informed of Risperdal’s side effects.
According to his lawyer, the only way to remove Pledger’s breasts would be through a mastectomy— a procedure he could not undergo just yet due to his frail health.