Las Vegas, NV (PRWEB) May 15, 2014
Amidst a backdrop of court records showing jury awards for plaintiffs in previous Actos cases that were later vacated*, and censure by the court over destroyed documents in another case**, comes word that sanctions have been issued against attorneys representing the defendant in yet another Actos lawsuit in Nevada *****. LawyersandSettlements.com looks at the recent court proceedings and provides an update on what’s been going on with Actos litigation.
The most recent Actos lawsuit is Cipriano v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., Case No. A680922, and Triana v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., Case No. A680556, in the Clark County Court in Nevada ***, which involves two separate cases with similar circumstances that have been combined into one trial. However, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal (4/7/14), presiding judge Kerry Earley announced***** on April 30th that she would instruct the jury before closing arguments that attorneys representing Takeda engaged--in the Court’s view--in misconduct and repeated violations of pretrial orders relating to topics and subject matters deemed off limits prior to the trial commencing.
According to the April 30th Review-Journal article, Judge Earley also stated that she would be articulating for the jury an adverse instruction related to the spoliation, and destruction of evidence first brought to light in the Allen trial.** Specifically, court records for In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 6:11-md-2299, show Takeda was sanctioned over the destruction of documents related to Actos and the association of pioglitazone and bladder cancer. Takeda had previously been instructed that documents related to Actos should be preserved. However, they were not – moving the Court in the Allen trial to censure Takeda† for failure to preserve evidence.
Meanwhile, according to court documents and a follow-up article in the Review-Journal, an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Las Vegas Actos trial, Dr. Robert Cunitz, testified April 7th that in his view, after reading through a series of Actos package insert warnings dating back to the year during which Actos was granted approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999, “there was no warning provided matching any of the criteria we have” he testified. “It wasn’t there.” **** The Court heard that Takeda eventually updated its Actos warning label relative to the risk for Actos bladder cancer in July, 2011 in tandem with a warning issued by the FDA†† (6/15/11) stating that continuous use of Actos for more than one year could lead to an increased risk for bladder cancer. During the trial, court documents show the Court heard that Takeda, by way of an email dating back to 2003, expressed concern that altering its label insert could have an adverse impact on sales.****
It has been reported that closing arguments in the current Las Vegas trial could begin as early as May 9th.
*Jack Cooper et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-12-518535
**Allen et al., v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc. et al., Case No. 6:2012cv00064
***Cipriano v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., Case No. A680922, and Triana v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., Case No. A680556, in the Clark County Court in Nevada
****“Diabetes drug maker downplayed cancer risk, warning label expert testifies in Las Vegas”, Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 7, 2014, http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/diabetes-drug-maker-downplayed-cancer-risk-warning-label-expert-testifies-las-vegas
****”Las Vegas judge grants sanctions request for lawyers’ disrespectful behavior”, Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 30, 2014, http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/las-vegas-judge-grants-sanctions-request-lawyers-disrespectful-behavior
*****“Norton Rose, Snell Attys Hit With Sanctions in Actos Case”, Law360, May 1, 2014.
† In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation MDL No. 6:11-md-2299, http://it-lex.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/InreActos.pdf
††”FDA Drug Safety Communication: Update to ongoing safety review of Actos (pioglitazone) and increased risk of bladder cancer”, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 6/15/11, http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm259150.htm
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