NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey — US drug firm Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $8 billion (£6.6bn) in punitive damages to a man over claims he was not warned that an anti-psychotic drug could lead to breast growth.
A Philadelphia jury made the award to Nicholas Murray, 26, whose case was one of thousands pending in the state.
His lawyers argued J&J’s subsidiary Janssen put “profits over patients” in marketing the drug Risperdal.
J&J will appeal the ruling, which it said was “grossly disproportionate”.
In the Risperdal lawsuit, Mr Murray said he developed breasts after his doctors prescribed the drug in 2003 when they diagnosed him with autism spectrum disorder.
Risperdal is approved for the treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but doctors can legally prescribe medicine for any condition they see fit.
The company said it is confident the ruling will be overturned, and said the court prevented their legal team from presenting “key evidence” on the drug’s labelling.
A jury in 2015 awarded Mr Murray $1.75m after finding the company was negligent in failing to warn consumers of the risks.
A state appeals court upheld the verdict in last year, but reduced it to $680,000