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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Louisiana Actos Bellwether Trial Started in Federal Court

Today, the jury selection was underway in the first federal bellwether trial to take place involving allegations that the side effects of Actos caused bladder cancer.

Plaintiff Allen Alleges Damages from Actos

This first federal Actos bellwether trial by Terrence Allen and his wife, Susan, will be the first one out of 2,700 pending lawsuits. Allen took Actos from 2004 until 2011, when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

The plaintiffs allege that Takeda Pharmaceuticals failed to warn patients and doctors about the elevated risk of bladder cancer with long-term use of the diabetes drug, and withheld this important safety information. Allen maintains that if he and his physicians had known about the risk of bladder cancer, he would have not taken the drug.

Federal MDL Consolidation

U.S. District Judge Rebecca F. Doherty, is presiding over the centralized federal Actos MDL (multidistrict litigation) in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Trial is expected to last about six weeks.

The Allen case is a “bellwether” trial, designed to help the parties determine how juries are to respond to similar scientific evidence and testimony throughout other Actos bladder cancer lawsuits.

Actos Trial Outcomes

Three Actos cases have gone to trial in various state courts. In May 2013, a California jury found that Takeda liable for increased Actos bladder cancer risk and awarded $6.5 million in damages, but, the trial judge reversed the verdict after excluding the plaintiffs’ expert witness testimony.

In September 2013, a Maryland jury found that Takeda liable for the Actos risks, and awarded the plaintiff $1.77 million in damages. But the jury also found that the plaintiff failed to exercise reasonable care for his own health, which cancelled the negligence of Takeda and so the verdict was reversed.

In December 2013, a Nevada jury, found for the defense, after evidence was presented that the plaintiff also used generic versions of Actos from online pharmacies.

It is expected that if the plaintiffs are successful in this trial, then it may pave the way for a global settlement.

 

Posted by Shezad Malik MD JD from "The Legal Examiner"
January 27, 2014 10:06 PM


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