Jury Says Takeda and Eli Lilly Must Pay $9 Billion for Actos Bladder Cancer
Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceutical and their US distributor Eli Lilly have been ordered to pay $9 billion in punitive damages after a federal court ruled that the companies hid potential cancer risks associated with taking Actos to treat Type 2 diabetes.
The Louisiana jury found Takeda and Lilly guilty on April 8th, and ordered Takeda to pay $6 billion in damages, while Indianapolis-based Lilly must pay $3 billion.
“I hope Takeda executives in Japan heard what this jury had to say loudly and clearly,” Mark Lanier, a lawyer for former Actos user Terrence Allen, said after the verdict.
Allen, the first bellwether case in the Actos multidistrict litigation, was awarded $1.3 million in compensatory damages out of the $9 billion. More than 2,700 personal injury suits linking Actos use to bladder cancer have been consolidated in the MDL.
While the punitive award is currently the 7th largest in US legal history, that amount will most likely be reduced due to a Supreme Court ruling that declared that punitive awards must be proportional to the compensatory awards.
“Takeda respectfully disagrees with the verdict and we intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all available legal means, including possible post-trial motions and an appeal,” Kenneth Greisman, general counsel for Takeda’s U.S. unit, said in an e-mailed statement. “We also believe we demonstrated that Takeda acted responsibly with regard toActos,” he added.
“While we have empathy for the plaintiff, we believe the evidence did not support claims that Actos caused his bladder cancer,” said Candace Johnson, a spokeswoman for Eli Lilly. “We intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all available legal means, including possible post-trial motions and an appeal.”
This is the fourth guilty verdict levied against Takeda Pharmaceuticals for personal injury and wrongful death related to Actos use.
During Allen’s case, Judge Rebecca Doherty ruled that Takeda neglectfully destroyed documents related to the link between Actos and bladder cancer. 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.
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