Jury Awards $9 Billion in Actos Litigation
Posted in Drug & Medical Devices on April 9, 2014
In one of the largest jury awards in U.S. history, the manufacturers of the diabetes treatment Actos® were ordered to pay $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $9 billion in punitive damages over hidden cancer risks. According to court documents, a federal court jury found that pharmaceutical giants Takeda and Eli Lilly acted with wanton and reckless disregard for patient safety.
Although more lawsuits are pending, the considerable damages are only for a single case, brought by Terrence Allen, a former Actos user who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos. It was the first federal “bellwether” trial of nearly 3,000 lawsuits, which have been filed in the Actos multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Such cases are commonplace in mass torts involving a dangerous drug or medical device. The verdicts in bellwether cases may be used to determine settlements for other similarly situated plaintiffs.
The federal Actos multidistrict litigation in Louisiana, entitled In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation (MDL No. 2299) is comprised of a total of four bellwether trials. The second, originally set to begin on April 14, has been continued. A new trial date has not yet been announced. The third and fourth trials are scheduled to commence on November 3, 2014 and January 12, 2015, respectively.
Nationwide Actos Litigation
Three other juries have deliberated over allegations that Takeda knew Actos could cause bladder cancer and failed to properly warn doctors and consumers about the risks. Bloomberg reports:
Last year, state juries in California and Maryland ordered Takeda to pay a total of $8.2 million in damages to former Actos users. Judges in both states threw out the verdicts. In December, state court jurors in Las Vegas rejected claims the company failed to properly warn consumers about the risks of Actos.
The thousands of plaintiffs who took Actos to treat Type 2 diabetes and developed bladder cancer allege that Takeda downplayed research indicating Actos caused the cancer and that manufacturer Takeda mislead regulators.
Elk & Elk represents a number of clients who were diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos for diabetes and is continuing to accept new cases for review.
If you or someone you know has been taking Actos (pioglitazone) for a year or longer and has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, call the Actos bladder cancer lawyers at Elk & Elk Co., Ltd., at 1-800-ELK-OHIO or fill out our free, no-obligation online contact form.
“Takeda, Lilly Jury Awards $9 Billion Over Actos Risks” by Jef Feeley and Kanoko Matsuyama, Bloomberg, April 8, 2014.