ALBANY, N.Y. — After suffering from the effects of Risperdal for nearly his entire life, a New York man is filing a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for failing to adequately protect consumers as they promoted the prescription of the drug for unapproved uses, according to WIVB 4.

Shaquil Bird began taking the drug at age 9 in 2002 and continued to do so until 2007, at which point he had already been suffering from gynecomastia for years. The development of male breasts in Bird was so significant that he suffered from insecurities and ridicule as he began lactating and noticing “actual breast tissue.”

Although Bird had surgery to remove the breasts in 2014, he still cites them as a cause for a lifetime of mental anguish and struggle.

When asked for comment, Bird’s lawyer went on to say “the FDA hadn’t approved it to be used by children. Instead, it was a drug used to treat schizophrenic adults.” This has brought outrage by Bird and his family as his mother commented, “I felt like they used him as a guinea pig to be honest.”

While Johnson & Johnson issued a later warning saying the side effect may be present once for every 1000 Risperdal cases, Bird’s lawyer claims that “In reality, they knew it was a frequent side effect and one that could happen to as many as 1 out of 20 or 1 out of 15 patients.”

Litigation is currently pending and awaiting a judges decision on dismissing a Johnson & Johnson motion that would allow Byrd’s case to go to trial.

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