Judge Rules that Jury in Actos MDL Can Hear Evidence Regarding Destroyed Actos Files
As the first bellwether trial in the Actos multidistrict litigation (MDL) begins the week of January 30th, Judge Rebecca Doherty ruled that the jury can hear evidence claiming that Takeda Pharmaceuticals destroyed files containing evidence that Actos could cause bladder cancer.
Officials at Takeda’s Osaka, Japan office admitted that they cannot find files compiled by 46 current and former employees involved in the development, marketing, and sale of Actos. Some files were reportedly deleted from employees’ computers after executives warned their staff to retain Actos-related material, according to Judge Doherty.
“The breadth of Takeda leadership whose files have been lost, deleted or destroyed is, in and of itself, disturbing,” Doherty wrote in a Jan. 27 filing.
The filing was in regards to the first Actos bellwether lawsuit, brought forward by plaintiff Terrence Allen, who was prescribed Actos in 2004 and took the drug for 7 years. In 2011, Allen was diagnosed with bladder cancer. His complaint alleges that Takeda Pharmaceuticals failed to warn doctors and patients of the dangers of taking Actos – had he and his doctor known about the increased risk for developing bladder cancer, Allen would have been prescribed a different medication to treat his Type 2 diabetes. The complaint alleges that Takeda intentionally withheld the information.
Judge Doherty said she would allow Allen’s lawyers to tell jurors that Takeda intentionally destroyed the files, in order to punish the company for its negligence.
The MDL currently has 2,800 cases alleging that Actos caused bladder cancer and other serious side effects. Previous bellwether cases in the Actos MDL had been scheduled, but vacated due to various legal technicalities. For example, last year’s bellwether case involving plaintiff Jack Cooper, who was initially awarded $6.5 million for pain and suffering, was nullified after an appeal from Takeda. The judge nullified the initial verdict stating that testimony given by the doctor was “inherently unreliable.”
Actos Linked to Serious Personal Injury
The FDA is currently investigating the risks of taking Actos, and says their review will wrap up next year. Based on evidence from new studies, the government agency issued a warning against Actos and said Takeda had to package their drug with the strongest possible warning label. Meanwhile, both France and Germany banned the drug from sale in their countries, and most recently, India temporarily banned Actos and the generic form pioglitazone, but after confrontations with doctors, rescinded the ban pending further study. The generic form of Actos, pioglitazone, was approved for use by the FDA in August 2013.
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 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