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Damages Cut in Actos Case, Request for New Trial Denied

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New Orleans, LAA judge has cut the amount of damages awarded in an Actos bladder cancer lawsuit after finding the damages awarded by the jury excessive. The plaintiffs in the Actos side effects lawsuit had initially been awarded more than $9 billion after alleging patients were not adequately warned about the potential link between Actos and bladder cancer, but the judge decreased the award to $38.1 million.

According to The Wall Street Journal (10/27/14), US District Judge Rebecca Doherty found that the $9 billion punitive award from a federal jury - $6 billion awarded against Takeda and $3 billion awarded against Eli Lilly - was excessive and ordered Takeda to pay $27.7 million, with Lilly ordered to pay $9.2 million. An award of $1.48 million in compensatory damages had already been reduced to $1.3 million.

Takeda and Eli Lilly had reportedly also filed a request for a new trial, but the judge previously denied that request. Judge Doherty ruled that the jurors properly found that Takeda and Lilly officials purposely hid the risks associated with the use of Actos.

Spokespeople for the drug companies indicated that although they feel the decrease in the award is positive, they will continue to appeal any award. According to the Indy Star (10/28/14), Lilly has argued that under a partnership agreement, Takeda is responsible for paying all damages.

The lawsuit was filed by patient Terrence Allen, who alleged he developed bladder cancer after using Actos. During the trial, Allen’s attorneys alleged Takeda officials purposely suppressed information that could have helped the plaintiff’s case. That resulted in the judge ruling that the jurors could take the loss of the documents as a sign that those missing documents supported Terrence Allen’s allegations.

There are still reportedly thousands of pending lawsuits filed against Takeda and Lilly, alleging that the drug companies failed to adequately warn about the risk of developing bladder cancer while taking Actos. Despite the verdict in the Allen lawsuit, other lawsuits have had conflicting results. A Philadelphia lawsuit (Frances Wisniewski v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. et al, Case No. 120702272, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas) resulted in an award of $2 million in compensatory damages to the plaintiff, but no award of punitive damages. The jury found that the defendants did not show purposeful disregard for patients. A spokesperson for Takeda has said the company plans to appeal.

The Louisiana lawsuit is Allen v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc., 12-cv-00064, US District Court, Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette).

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READER COMMENTS

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Yes I was taking actos am i in risk . Now i am worried for later in the future.

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