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Judge slashes $8 bln Risperdal award against Johnson & Johnson to $6.8 mln

Jan 17 (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania judge on Friday slashed to $6.8 million from $8 billion a punitive damages award against Johnson & Johnson for allegedly failing to warn men that they could grow breasts by using its antipsychotic drug Risperdal.

The decision by Judge Kenneth Powell of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to reduce punitive damages for the plaintiff Nicholas Murray followed a jury's imposition of the original award last Oct. 8.

No reason was immediately given for the reduction, which was disclosed in court records.

Murray, like other male plaintiffs in mass tort litigation over Risperdal, claimed that he developed breasts after being prescribed the medicine when he was a boy. He was 26 when the jury made the $8 billion award. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)