Judge Reduces Actos Award by 99.6%
In April, a jury ruled that Takeda Pharmaceutical’s blockbuster Type 2 diabetes drug, Actos, was the cause of a plaintiff’s bladder cancer in a bellwether case representing many personal injury cases against the company.
Plaintiff Terrence Allen and his wife alleged that the man took Actos as prescribed, and he developed bladder cancer because the drug increases patients’ risk of developing the dangerous side effect. The Allens claimed that they and their doctors were not adequately warned about Actos’s side effects, and that the company intentionally hid the problem to sell more of the drug.
Takeda and its US subsidiary, Eli Lilly, were hit with a $9 billion penalty when the jury ruled in favor of the Allens. Both pharmaceutical companies immediately appealed the Actos verdict – Takeda was supposed to pay $6 billion, and Lilly was to pay $3 billion.
Originally, Judge Rebecca Doherty refused to overturn or change the penalty, pointing again that Takeda lost or destroyed numerous documents related to Actos’s effectiveness and potential side effects, which made the discovery phase of the trial very difficult. On January 30th, Judge Doherty ruled that the plaintiffs’ attorneys could claim that Takeda willfully destroyed the files in order to punish the company for its negligence. The plaintiffs also alleged that Ronald Hoven, former CEO of Eli Lilly, lied under oath while giving testimony during the bellwether trial, because his testimony was regarding Actos was more vague than testimony he gave in a case related to a different drug.
Now, however, Judge Doherty reduced the damages by over 99% – Takeda will now pay only $27.7 million, and Eli Lilly will pay a mere $9.2 million. Judge Doherty cited US Supreme Court rulings that limit punitive damages.
As part of her ruling, though, Judge Doherty denied Takeda’s request for a new Actos trial. Both Takeda and Eli Lilly representatives say that they are unsatisfied with the answer, despite the massive reduction in the Actos penalties, and will continue to appeal to have the entire amount overturned.
“We view the substantially reduced punitive damage award as a step in the right direction, but we believe a damage award of any amount is not justified based on the evidence presented in this trial,” Kenneth Greisman, a U.S.-based spokesman for Takeda, said in an e-mailed statement.
Currently, Takeda Pharmaceuticals faces up to 4,200 product liability cases because of the link between Actos and bladder cancer.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases, Including Against Actos
There are several side effects associated with Actos®. You should seek medical attention if you experience:
- shortness of breath or trouble breathing,
- chest pain,
- extreme fatigue,
- irregular heartbeat,
- dilated neck veins,
- swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs,
- decreased urine output, and
- weight gain
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 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