PHILADELPHIA -- A Philadelphia jury on Tuesday awarded $8 billion in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson and one of its subsidiaries over a drug the companies made that the plaintiff's attorneys say is linked to the abnormal growth of female breast tissue in boys.
Johnson and Johnson immediately denounced the award after the jury's decision in the Court of Common pleas, saying it's "excessive and unfounded" and vowing immediate action to overturn it.
The antipsychotic drug Risperdal is at the center of the lawsuit, with the plaintiff's attorneys arguing it's linked to abnormal growth of female breast tissue in boys, an incurable condition known as gynecomastia.
Johnson & Johnson used an organized scheme to make billions of dollars while illegally marketing and promoting the drug, attorneys Tom Kline and Jason Itkin said in a statement.
Kline and Itkin said that Johnson & Johnson was "a corporation that valued profits over safety and profits over patients."