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