LOS ANGELES – A lawsuit filed Friday in federal court alleges a teenage boy was forcibly given the female hormone estrogen without consent after he was diagnosed with a behavioral disorder while being held at a Los Angeles County juvenile hall last year.
Due to the estrogen, the boy, then 16, developed enlarged breasts, a condition that did not exist prior to taking the estrogen pills, according to the complaint alleging medical battery, negligence and constitutional violations.
The suit — originally filed in Los Angeles Superior Court in June — names the county and two of its doctors, Danny Wang, who allegedly prescribed the estrogen, and David Oh, medical director of Juvenile Court Health Services.
A message seeking comment from the county Department of Health Services, which oversees medical care services at county juvenile lockups, was not immediately answered.
The youth was diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD, two days after he was arrested in June 2019, the lawsuit states. The reason for the boy’s arrest was not given.
ODD is linked to elevated levels of testosterone and delinquency in male youths, according to the 29-page complaint, which seeks unspecified damages.
The suit alleges that the medication was administered without the boy’s or his parents’ consent. Along with enlarged breast tissue, the estrogen caused him to suffer depression, anxiety and insomnia, the complaint alleges.