For more information or confidential assistance
se habla español

Takeda Seeks New Trial After Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit Verdict

Actos bladder cancer lawsuit verdictIn the wake of an Actos bladder cancer lawsuit verdict in April of this year, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and its U.S. partner Eli Lilly are now seeking a new trial or a reversal of the judgment, which includes both $1.5 million in compensatory damages for the plaintiff and a combined $9 billion in punitive damages judgment against Takeda and Eli Lilly.

Takeda’s lawyers argue that the “excessive” and “unconstitutional” amount of the punitive judgment award demonstrates that the jury acted with “passion and prejudice” and that the defendants are entitled to a new trial or, at least, to the court should amend the amount of the punitive damages to no more than compensatory damages.

The defendants have also argued as part of their request for a new trial that the jury should not have been instructed to consider evidence that Takeda destroyed documents related to Actos bladder cancer risks and possible legal repercussions for the company.

$9 billion Actos lawsuit verdict: largest award in pharmaceutical history

The case was brought by Terrance Allen, who contended that he developed bladder cancer as a result of taking Actos (pioglitazone hydrochloride) to treat diabetes II. The trial hinged on the allegation that the manufacturers marketed Actos with the knowledge that it carried a high risk of bladder cancer and without disclosing these risks. Actos was approved by the FDA in 1999; the judge in the case ruled that the defendants knew about the bladder cancer risk as early as 2002.

Prior to the start of the trial, the judge also ruled that the defendants had acted in bad faith by failing to preserve documents related to the trial and, subsequently, stated that there was evidence that the defendants had even destroyed such documents. The jury was instructed to take these matters into consideration. The resulting $9 billion Actos jury award is the largest such award in the history of pharmaceutical trials and the seventh largest punitive damage of any kind in U.S. history.

Actos bladder cancer lawsuit one of thousands pending

Recent Actos litigation has resulted in verdicts for the defendants. Two initial multi-million dollar verdicts for Actos plaintiffs were subsequently reversed, whereas a third jury in Nevada ruled for the defense given that the plaintiff’s status as a smoker and his ordering of generic versions of Actos through the mail compromised his lawyer’s contentions concerning the drug. Following a separate trial in Las Vegas which resulted in a ruling for the defense, plaintiffs’ lawyers are calling for new trial in connection with the disrespectful conduct of the defense’s attorneys in court.

However, the recent verdict in the Allen case may set the standard for future Actos lawsuits. The Allen case is a “bellwether” lawsuit, a preliminary case that is part of a much larger multidistrict litigation (MDL) taking place in Louisiana. Over 3,000 Actos bladder cancer lawsuits have been consolidated as part of this MDL. The recent ruling may give some indication of how the juries will rule in subsequent lawsuits.