Jury Returns $2.3 Million Verdict in Actos Bladder Cancer Case

Jury Returns $2.3 Million Verdict in Actos Bladder Cancer Case

Posted By The Maher Law Firm || 16-Feb-2015

A jury has returned a $2.3 million verdict in favor of a former teacher who claimed that the manufacturer of the Actos diabetes drug failed to properly warn doctors about the drug's risk of causing bladder cancer.

It marks the fifth verdict to go against the manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. of Osaka, Japan, in an Actos bladder cancer lawsuit, Bloomberg reports.

After deliberating for more than eight hours over a two-day span, the jury reached the verdict on February 12 in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, according to Bloomberg.

The verdict represents $300,000 in medical expenses and $2 million in pain and suffering damages. Because the jury also found that Takeda acted with "reckless indifference" to the plaintiff's health by hiding Actos' cancer risks, the plaintiff may also be eligible to recover punitive damages, Bloomberg notes.

String of Verdicts Go Against Takeda in Actos Lawsuits

Actos (pioglitazone) is prescribed to improve the control of blood sugar in adults with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. It is also distributed in combination with metformin (Actoplus Met and Actoplus Met XR) and glimepiride (Duetact).

The drug has been sold in the U.S. since 1999, generating more than $16 billion in sales, according to Bloomberg.

However, it wasn't until June 2011 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the increased risk of bladder cancer faced by those who use Actos for more than one year and required that the risk information be added to the labels of pioglitazone-containing drugs.

In recent years, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co., which partnered with Takeda to market and sell Actos in the U.S. from 1999 to 2006.

Bloomberg reports that more than 3,500 Actos bladder cancer lawsuits filed in federal courts have been consolidated for pretrial matters in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (MDL No. 2299), while 4,500 more lawsuits are pending in state courts.

In 2013, juries in state courts in California and Maryland ordered Takeda to pay a combined $8.2 million in damages (although the verdicts were overturned on appeal). Additionally, last year, a Pennsylvania jury awarded $2 million in damages to the plaintiff in an Actos case, which is now on appeal, Bloomberg reports.

The largest jury verdict to date was returned in April 2014 by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. The jury awarded the plaintiff $9 billion in punitive damages, the New York Times reports. However, according to Bloomberg, those damages were reduced to $36.8 million in October 2014.

Carl Tobias, a product liability law professor at the University of Richmond, told Bloomberg, "Given the number of trial losses Takeda has suffered over Actos, the company should seriously consider negotiating some sort of global settlement."

However, to date, Takeda continues to vigorously challenge Actos lawsuits at the trial level and on appeal. In a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg in reaction to this latest verdict, a Takeda spokesperson said the company denied that the plaintiff's condition was caused by Actos, and the company would consider appealing.

At The Maher Law Firm, we are carefully reviewing Actos cases. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered bladder cancer after taking Actos, contact our firm to receive a free and confidential consultation.

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