Plaintiff Loses $6.5 Million Award When Judge Revokes Ruling in Actos Case
On May 1st, Judge Kenneth Freeman tossed out the original verdict in the first personal injury case against Takeda Pharmaceuticals blockbuster diabetes drug, Actos.
A motion filed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals convinced Judge Freeman that Actos was not the primary cause of plaintiff Jack Cooper’s bladder cancer. The judge concluded that the testimony given by a doctor, who concluded that Actos was responsible for the plaintiff’s disease, was “inherently unreliable.”
The previous week, on April 26th, Judge Freeman awarded Mr. Cooper and his wife $6.5 million in damages for their personal injury case. Mr. Cooper had taken Actos to treat his Type 2 diabetes for more than 4 years before he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011.
Scientific studies of Actos since 2011 have shown an increased risk of developing bladder cancer in patients who take Actos for more than 2 years.
However, Takeda Pharmaceuticals submitted that Mr. Cooper had other risk factors for bladder cancer – he is an elderly former smoker. Additionally, people with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for developing bladder cancer anyway, regardless of how they regulate the disease.
“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,” Sara Gourley, one of Takeda’s lawyers, told jurors just after the ruling.
“We have empathy for Mr. Cooper and his family, but agree with the court’s finding. In granting the motion, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs failed to offer any reliable evidence that Mr. Cooper’s disease was caused by ACTOS (pioglitazone HC1),” said Kenneth D. Greisman, senior vice president, general counsel, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc.
“Patient safety is a critical priority for Takeda,” said Greisman. “We plan to vigorously defend the company against future lawsuits involving Actos.”
Takeda Pharmaceuticals currently faces over 3,000 personal injury lawsuits related to Actos use, 1,200 of which have been consolidated into one multidistrict litigation (MDL). Mr. Cooper’s claim was the first bellwether case against the drug manufacturer.
Serious Concerns About The Safety of Actos
In 2011, several scientific studies were released to the public showing a link between Type 2 diabetes patients with bladder cancer, and use of the drug Actos. Although the studies did not say specifically that Actos causes bladder cancer, they did conclude that patients who took the drug for two years or more had a seriously increased risk of developing bladder cancer.
The study did not spur a recall in the United States, although the FDA said it would consider putting a much stronger warning label on the box. However, both France and Germany pulled the drug from their shelves.
Recently, despite public outcry, the FDA approved generic versions of Actos, as well as a new Actos-based drug from Takeda Pharmaceuticals called Nesina. Nesina has been used in Japan and a few other countries for several years, but it was not approved for the US until this year.
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