New York, NY (PRWEB) April 09, 2013
Chaffin Luhana LLP, a national plaintiffs-only law firm, today reminded plaintiffs and patients who have taken Actos that the first bellwether trials in the Actos MDL have been moved up. Judge Rebecca F. Doherty promised last year that she would move the litigation along as quickly as possible, and on February 19, 2013, she ordered that the first trial to begin on January 27, 2014, with the second scheduled for April 14, 2014 (Case 6:13-cv-00345-RFD-PJH, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Scheduling Order: Pilot Bellwether Program (First Trial)).
“This reflects a new accelerated schedule for federal Actos cases, and should help plaintiffs to see their lawsuits resolved in a more timely manner,” said Eric Chaffin, co-founder of the firm. “Many of the plaintiffs involved in these lawsuits are elderly, and can’t afford to wait around for years to discover the outcome of their claims.”
Back in June 2012, Judge Doherty had scheduled the first bellwether trials to begin in November 2014, but in the recent court order she changed those dates. The updated program establishes a “streamlined trial preparation schedule for a minimum of two Pilot Bellwether trials,” and is imposed “so as to serve the very important goal of moving these proceedings toward completion of this court’s responsibilities in a reasonable time.”
The first Actos lawsuit has already gone to trial in Los Angeles, California, with plaintiff Jack Cooper alleging that manufacturer Takeda failed to warn about the serious risk of bladder cancer associated with long-term Actos use (Feeley & Cronin, “Takeda Faces First Trial Over Actos Diabetes Drug in L.A.,” Bloomberg, 2/18/2013). Over 3,000 other plaintiffs have made similar claims against the company, with all federal cases consolidated into the Western District of Louisiana on December 29, 2011 (MDL No. 2299).
Litigation against Takeda expanded after the June 2011 FDA warning concerning the link between Actos and bladder cancer (FDA Drug Safety Communication, 6/15/2011). The agency reviewed the five-year results of a 10-year ongoing epidemiological study, and reported that patients taking the type 2 diabetes drug for more than 12 months may be at a 40 percent increased risk of bladder cancer. In August 2011, the FDA approved updated drug labels that contained the new information (FDA Drug Safety Communication, 8/4/2011).
Judge Doherty noted in her order that the deadlines for the bellwether trials “should be considered hard and fast,” and will not be “extended, continued, or delayed” unless extraordinarily good cause is shown. She acknowledged that the schedule will place “extraordinary burdens” on the court, counsel and parties, but encouraged all to do what is necessary to prepare these trials to begin on time.
Chaffin Luhana LLP has a successful history of protecting the rights of those affected by the serious side effects of medications like Actos. Partners Eric Chaffin and Roopal Luhana represent high-profile cases in federal and state courts across the country, and provide new online resource centers for clients and the public. To date, Mr. Chaffin and Ms. Luhana along with co-counsel have been involved in recovering over $900 million for injured consumers. Both have been named to the prestigious New York Metro Super Lawyers list, and though unable to guarantee results, the firm has a distinguished track record of success and is highly committed to each case.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury after taking Actos, contact Chaffin Luhana LLP for a free and confidential case review at 1-888-480-1123, or visit the firm website at http://www.chaffinluhana.com.
Eric T. Chaffin, Esq.
CHAFFIN LUHANA LLP
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