Risperdal Class ActionRisperdal Class Action



Risperdal Update – June 2016

When the several proposed Risperdal class actions were commenced, they did not include a claim relating to generic risperidone.  The various firms commencing the actions did not and do not believe there is a good cause of action against the makers of generic risperidone.  In 2015, the claim in the consolidated Ontario actions were amended to add a claim relative to generic risperidone.  That amendment did not add the generic makers.  Rather the new allegations, were made against the existing defendants and were based on the fact that the generic makers were required by Health Canada to use the safety warnings contained in the defendants’ product monograph.  The makers of generic drugs are not required to conduct the same extensive testing that originators like the defendants must conduct.  Generic makers are only required to demonstrate that their drug is the bioequivalent of the originator’s product.  Further, generic makers do not have the benefit of the years of market exclusivity that the defendants had, during which they could have detected the dangers associated with risperidone.

The defendants recently brought a motion to strike the claims relating to generic Risperidone that had been added in 2015.  The defendants were successful on that motion.  The Court relied on an earlier decision that had also held that originators could not be held liable for a failure to warn in the product monographs of generic makers.  The earlier decision did not appear to be based on a complete understanding of Health Canada’s policies and procedures as they relate to the product monographs for bioequivalent generic drug products.  After careful consideration, the decision was made not appeal the Court’s decision to strike those claims relating to generic risperidone.

As a consequence of this decision, the action is again limited to claims against the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson defendants and only in reference to the brand name product Risperdal.

For the same reasons that an action was never commenced against the makers of generic risperidone in the past, no action against them is contemplated at this time.  Those individuals that ingested only generic risperidone will, therefore, not qualify as class members in the proposed class action.  Should those individuals believe they have a cause of action against the makers of generic risperidone, they should consult with alternative counsel.

Those individuals that ingested Risperdal will qualify as class members if the action is certified as a class action.  Those individuals that ingested both Risperdal and generic risperidone will then also qualify as class members. 

To determine whether you ingested Risperdal and qualify as a class member, you should obtain a copy of your prescription history.  You should do so at your earliest convenience because pharmacies do not normally retain such records indefinitely and in some instances do so for only 2 or 3 years.

Prospective class members may register their information with us at www.mcst.ca   Registration will enable us to more readily communicate with all class members and track information relating to class members.  Registration does not create a client-lawyer relationship.  This may only be done by way of a retainer agreement.





Status of Proposed Risperdal - Risperidone Class Action

A case conference is scheduled for February 2016.  At that case conference it is anticipated that a timetable leading to the hearing of the certification motion will be established.

The defendants have already been served with the plaintiffs’ certification motion material and we shall be seeking a deadline for delivery of the defendants’ certification motion material.  We will also be seeking a certification motion hearing date for later this year.

In 2015, the defendants had brought a motion seeking additional medical records.  The Court dismissed the defendants’ motion.

Prospective class members are reminded that this case is in respect of gynecomastia and hyperprolactinemia.  If you have not been diagnosed with gynecomastia or hyperprolactinemia you need to consider suing on your own because the class action common issue trial will not be about other physical injuries. You will need to pursue any claims based on other physical injuries through other legal counsel.  In the circumstances, it may be preferable that you pursue your own individual action.At present, we are not pursuing individual Risperdal-Risperidone actions so you will need to retain other legal counsel should you want to pursue your own individual action.

For those who have been diagnosed with gynecomastia or hyperprolactinemia, you are strongly encouraged to obtain your pharmaceutical histories from your pharmacist(s) before those records are destroyed.

If you have not already registered with us, you may do so HERE.

Registering with us provides us with information that assists in prosecuting this proposed class action and enables us to communicate with you more readily.  Registration does not establish a lawyer/client relationship with us.  This may only be done by way of written retainer agreement signed by us.

A further update will be posted following the February case conference.

As should be clear by now, the prosecution of class actions take a long time.  It will probably take several more years before the claims herein are determined.  Please do not contact our office for updates.  If something significant with the legal proceeding should happen, it will be posted in an update here or we will let you know by other means.




This proposed class action has been changed in an important respect.

The action is now limited to individuals suffering from gynecomastia or hyperprolactinemia. No other alleged injuries are being claimed. Previously, the action included claims for weight gain and tardive dyskinesia.  This is no longer so.

This means that if you wish to pursue a Risperdal claim for anything other than  gynecomastia or hyperprolactinemia, you must now commence your own action or participate in another class action pursuing those claims. 

If you have a claim based on tardive dyskinesia or weight gain or anything else (other than gynecomastia or hyperprolactinemia) it is important that you commence your own legal action in a timely basis and before any applicable limitation period expires.  We strongly recommend that you consult with alternative counsel immediately with a view to commencing your action now.

Almost all law suits must be commenced within a fixed period of time.  The commencement of a proposed class action stops that time from running.  However, now that this proposed class action is no longer pursuing other claims, including tardive dyskinesia or weight gain, the time has begun to run again for those claims.  If this fixed time period expires before your action is commenced your claim will expire and you will not be able to make the claim in the future.  


Should you or your lawyer have any questions regarding the above, please contact us by email at bmcphadden@mcst.ca and/or lstaffieri@mcst.ca


Risperdal is an antipsychotic available in numerous forms, mainly used to treat

schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and dementia.  Risperdal is made and marketed by



It has been alleged that Janssen targeted boys and male adolescents for the use of Risperdal but did not adequately warn of the danger of developing gynecomastia.  Presently, Health Canada recommends against the use of Risperdal by children under the age of 18.


Janssen has settled numerous cases in the United States brought by males who ingested the drug when they were children and/or adolescents and developed gynecomastia.  Also, a number of states brought civil cases against Janssen.  Janssen has settled Risperdal cases for substantial sums and an Arkansas court recently awarded $1.2 billion in damages against the company.


McPhadden Samac Tuovi LLP has commenced a national class action on behalf of males in Canada who took Risperdal when they were children and/or adolescents and developed gynecomastia.  If this describes your situation and you would like a free assessment of your case, you are encouraged to complete the online questionnaire available below.  Your information will be reviewed by a lawyer.



Risperdal® is a registered trademark of Janssen, Inc. and is used here only to identify the product in question.