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Second Testosterone Bellwether Lawsuit Wraps in Illinois

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Chicago, ILThe second bellwether testosterone lawsuit in testosterone multidistrict litigation ended in similar fashion to the first: a sizeable punitive damages award, together with a jury finding that defendant AbbVie Inc. was not liable for heart issues suffered by the plaintiffs in the respective trials.

There was, however one major difference: the jury in Konrad v. AbbVie Inc., which delivered its verdict October 5, awarded the plaintiff $140,000 in compensatory damages on top of a $140 million hit for punitive damages. This differs from the first bellwether testosterone side effects lawsuit, which resulted in a punitive damages award of $150 million but no compensatory damages for the plaintiff, Jesse Mitchell.

The most recent testosterone lawsuit is Konrad v. AbbVie Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-00966, in US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Plaintiff Jeffrey Konrad accused AbbVie of withholding vital information pertaining to risks for testosterone heart attack and other cardiovascular issues associated with use of testosterone for so-called ‘Low-T.’ Thus, Konrad held AbbVie responsible for a heart attack he suffered following his use of AndroGel to boost his levels of testosterone.

The jury, following a two-week trial, did not find the defendant liable for Konrad’s heart attack. However, the jury did find for the plaintiff on claims of negligence, intentional misrepresentation and misrepresentation by concealment. The $140,000 in compensatory damages awarded to Konrad includes $40,000 in fees and medical bills stemming from his testosterone heart attack, together with $100,000 in compensation for his pain and suffering.

Konrad suffered his heart attack in 2010.

Testosterone has long been an approved treatment for hypogonadism, which is a serious depletion of testosterone in men. Such depletion of testosterone represents certain health risks for the patient, for whom testosterone therapy carries a risk profile whereby the benefits outweigh the risks for that constituency of patients. However, manufacturers of testosterone supplements are accused in testosterone side effects lawsuits of attempting to create a widened market for their products by targeting middle-aged men bemoaning losses of energy and vitality.

Law360 (10/05/17) reports that Konrad had a documented drop in natural testosterone, treatment for which came in the form of AndroGel prescribed to Konrad by his physician. Konrad, in his testosterone lawsuit, accused AbbVie of misrepresenting the risks associated with testosterone side effects while attempting to grow the market for AndroGel.

AbbVie countered that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) possessed all relevant data pertaining to risk factors associated with use of AndroGel, but did not require AbbVie to update the product label until years after Konrad had suffered his testosterone heart attack. AbbVie also claimed the FDA viewed, and signed off on all marketing materials advertising AndroGel.

AbbVie also noted various risk factors Konrad carried for cardiovascular issues including obesity, high blood pressure and a family history for heart attacks.

Be that as it may, attorney David Buchanan of Seeger Weiss LLP, who represented Konrad in his testosterone lawsuit, noted that the jury found the defendant’s conduct “reprehensible.”

AbbVie signaled its intent to appeal the verdict.

The testosterone MDL is In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 1:14-cv-01748, in the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


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