Plaintiff Claims Takeda Knew About Bladder Cancer Risk from Actos, Hid Information
As the first bellwether trial in the Actos multidistrict lawsuit (MDL) begins, the plaintiff’s attorney claims that Takeda Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of Type 2 diabetes drug Actos, intentionally withheld information linking their blockbuster drug to bladder cancer.
“You’ll hear testimony from Terry’s doctors that if they’d been told the truth about this drug, they would not have given it” to him, said Mark Lanier, attorney for plaintiff Terry Allen.
Allen was prescribed Actos in 2004 and took the drug for 7 years. In 2011, Allen was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He seeks at least $15 million in damages.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals and their defense attorney, Bruce Parker, allege that Allen’s bladder cancer was not related to his Actos prescription, and that they properly warned about the drug’s risks when it went on sale in the United States. The company also alleges that there is no conclusive link between bladder cancer and Actos, only a correlation – and patients with Type 2 diabetes are susceptible to developing bladder cancer anyway.
“There is no evidence from these studies that there is any connection or causal relationship between Actos and bladder cancer,” Parker said.
However, 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.
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.”
Outside of the MDL, state courts in Maryland and California last year ordered Takeda to pay $8.2 million in damages to former Actos users who developed bladder cancer; however, judges in both states later threw out the verdicts. In January of this year, jurors in Las Vegas ruled in favor of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, rejecting claims that the company failed to properly warn. However, in this bellwether case, Judge Rebecca Doherty issued a filing stating that attorneys for the plaintiff could use evidence stating that Takeda intentionally destroyed documents that may or may not have revealed a link between Actos and bladder cancer risk.
“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 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