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,
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.