As reported in a LawyersandSettlements article by Gordon Gibb (2/6/15), one of the experts who testified on behalf of Takeda informed jurors that he had previously received money from Takeda in the past. The expert, Mark Schoenberg, a urologic oncologist, had testified that he believed Kristufek’s smoking and history of bladder tumors predating his use of Actos were the cause of Kristufek’s bladder cancer.
But Schoenberg also told jurors that he had received $25,000 for submitting expert testimony on Takeda’s behalf in a previous lawsuit.
The jury in the Kristufek lawsuit found in favor of the plaintiff, and awarded him approximately $2.3 million in damages and medical expenses. Jurors said Takeda exhibited “reckless indifference” to the plaintiff’s health, according to Bloomberg Business (2/12/15).
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As of March 16, 2015, there were more than 4,100 federal Actos lawsuits in MDL 2299 before Judge Rebecca F. Doherty in district court for the western district of Louisiana, according to MDL records. In addition to the federal lawsuits, there are reportedly around 4,500 lawsuits in various state courts. Those lawsuits allege patients and medical professionals were not adequately warned about the risk of bladder cancer associated with the use of Actos.
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In a lawsuit in Wisconsin state court, a judge has decided not to issue sanctions against Takeda after finding there is not enough evidence that the drugmaker knowingly destroyed documents related to Actos. Other courts, however, have found that Takeda knowingly destroyed vital documents.
The lawsuit involved in the award is Kristufek v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., case number 120702275, in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas. The consolidated cases are In re: Actos (pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2299.