J&J slides after jury orders it to pay $8 billion in male breast-growth case

johnson and johnsonMario Tama/Getty Images

  • A Philadelphia jury ruled Johnson & Johnson must pay $8 billion in damages to a man claiming the company didn't properly warn male consumers its Risperdal drug could prompt breast growth.
  • The company's stock fell as much as 1.5% on Wednesday following the Tuesday decision.
  • The case, brought by Nicholas Murray, is one of 13,400 Risperdal-related lawsuits, according to J&J's latest SEC filings.
  • Watch J&J trade live here.

A Philadelphia jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $8 billion in damages to a man claiming the company didn't warn male consumers its Risperdal drug could result in breast growth.

J&J fell as much as 1.5% in early Wednesday trading following the Tuesday decision. The case, brought forth by Nicholas Murray, is one of 13,400 lawsuits related to Risperdal, according to the company's latest SEC filings.

Murray's lawyers claimed the drug, which is prescribed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental health disorders, can create a hormonal imbalance and elevate production of prolactin. The hormone can prompt the formation of female breast tissue in men.

Murray, 26, was awarded compensatory damages of $680,000 in 2015. The $8 billion sum is likely to be reduced on grounds that it violates due process.

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"This award is grossly disproportionate with the initial compensatory award in this case, and the Company is confident it will be overturned," J&J said in a statement.

The firm referenced a 2003 Supreme Court ruling which states punitive damages awards "that are a double-digit multiplier" of the compensatory award should be discarded.

"We will be immediately moving to set aside this excessive and unfounded verdict," the company added.

J&J opened at $130.56 per share Wednesday, up roughly 2% year-to-date.

The firm has 12 "buy" ratings, 11 "hold" ratings, and one "sell" rating, with a consensus price target of $148.53, according to Bloomberg data.

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