Bellwether Actos Trial Returns Verdict in Favor of Plaintiff, Wins Damages
The first of more than 3,000 personal injury lawsuits against Takeda Pharmaceuticals has returned a verdict, in favor of the plaintiff.
On Friday, April 26th, Jack Cooper was awarded $6.5 million in personal injury damages by a jury which ruled that Takeda Pharmaceuticals failed to provide adequate warnings on their Actos packaging, as well as to doctors and patients, and that using the drug to treat his Type 2 diabetes is what caused Mr. Cooper’s bladder cancer.
Mr. Cooper was awarded $5 million for his personal injury, and his wife was awarded $1.5 million for emotional distress while her husband suffered.
A Los Angeles jury debated for five days over the verdict, but finally agreed that Takeda should have warned about Actos’s dangers, and Jack Cooper’s health suffered directly from their negligence.
According to previous studies, using Actos for two or more years can double a patient’s risk of developing bladder cancer. Mr. Cooper used Actos for more than four years before being diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals pointed out that patients with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing bladder cancer anyway. However, multiple studies on Actos’s effectiveness in recent years have shown that the drug increases patients’ risk of developing a variety of serious diseases, including diabetic macular edema, and bladder cancer. The studies showed such a clear link that in the summer of 2011, both France and Germany banned Actos from pharmacies in their respective countries.
“I hope this verdict makes Takeda realize it’s time to solve the problems with Actos that they’ve known about for years,” Michael Miller, one of Cooper’s lawyers, said after the jury’s ruling was announced.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals To Fight Verdict Against Actos
Mr. Cooper’s personal injury lawsuit is the first Actos bellwether trial, which could determine the fact of the thousands of other personal injury lawsuits against Takeda Pharmaceuticals. As reports of Actos’s link to bladder cancer grew more numerous, the pharmaceutical manufacturer saw a steep drop in Actos sales, and pulled the drug off the market in a voluntary recall.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals faces more than 3,000 personal injury cases, around 1,200 of which have been consolidated into one multidistrict litigation. The company also faces its first federal lawsuit in January 2014.
Because their reputation has been tarnished by the verdict, Takeda plans to challenge Mr. Cooper’s lawsuit. After the verdict was announced on Friday, Takeda officials announced that they would file motions to have the verdict thrown out. They asked Judge Kenneth Freeman to review the motions next week.
“We respectfully disagree with the jury’s verdict and believe we showed in this trial Takeda acted responsibly” in its handling of Actos, Kenneth Greisman, general counsel for Takeda’s U.S. unit, said in a telephone interview.
Sara Gourley, one of Takeda’s lawyers, countered plaintiffs’ arguments by saying that Actos did not cause Mr. Cooper to develop cancer. Because he is elderly and a former smoker on top of having Type 2 diabetes, he was at higher risk of developing numerous forms of cancer, including bladder cancer, and his disease had nothing to do with Actos.
“The evidence is not only clear, it is overwhelming, that Mr. Cooper is in the highest-risk groups, and that his bladder cancer had nothing to do with Actos,” Gourley told jurors.
The verdict comes mere months after Takeda received approval from the FDA for a drug chemically similar to Actos called Nesina, which has been used in Japan and a few other countries for several years to treat Type 2 diabetes. Last year, Takeda’s patent for Actos expired and generic drug manufacturers have also received FDA approval to begin manufacturing pioglitazone, the generic form of Actos.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases, Including Against Actos
If you or a loved one have taken Actos to treat Type 2 diabetes, and have since suffered dangerous side effects including developing bladder cancer, heart disease, liver failure, or diabetic macular edema, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help with personal injury cases, including against Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800