Actos Maker, Takeda, Ordered to Pay $155,000 in Compensatory Damages Over Destruction of Documents Allegations, Parker Waichman LLP Comments

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Plaintiff argued that the destroyed documents were needed to prove allegations that Actos led to his cancer.

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“Juries are clearly understanding the cases and finding fault on behalf of the company despite Takeda’s claims that plaintiffs’ lifestyles, not the drug maker’s behaviors, are to blame for serious illnesses and deaths,”

Parker Waichman LLP, a national law firm that has long been dedicated to protecting the rights of victims who have been injured by medications, reports that a jury has ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. to pay $155,000 in compensatory damages in a case involving accusations that the drug maker destroyed documents concerning its diabetes medication, Actos (pioglitazone). A panel determined that the missing files stopped a man from proving his allegations that Actos caused his cancer. The case is Myers v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., Circuit Court of Berkeley County, West Virginia, No. 12-C-315 (Martinsburg).

According to a November 18, 2014 Bloomberg.com report, the plaintiff’s attorney said that the jury concluded that Takeda officials intentionally destroyed files about the creation and marketing of Actos. The panel found that the so-called “systematic document destruction” prevented the plaintiff, Richard Myers, 71, from accessing evidence that could have proved his claims that Takeda failed to adequately warn about the diabetes drug’s cancer risks.

More than 3,500 lawsuits have been brought over Actos and have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in Lafayette, Louisiana, for pretrial information exchanges, court dockets indicate. The consolidated Actos case is In Re Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, 11-md-02299, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette). Another 4,500 cases have been filed in various state courts in Illinois, West Virginia, California, and Pennsylvania, according to court records, Bloomberg.com indicated.

Most recently, a Philadelphia jury awarded a $2 million in damages noting that Actos was a contributing factor in the plaintiff’s bladder cancer and that Takeda neglected to sufficiently warn physicians concerning risks associated with Actos. (Frances Wisniewski v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. et al., case number 120702272, in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas)

In Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. (Case Number CGC-12-518535, Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles) the plaintiffs were awarded $6.5 million by a California jury in the first Actos bladder cancer lawsuit to reach trial. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of a man and his wife over allegations that his taking Actos led to his terminal bladder cancer and that Takeda did not appropriately disclose the ties between Actos and bladder cancer. The case was heard prior to thousands of others filed due to the man’s grave condition; the compensatory damage award included $5 million to the man and $1.5 million to his wife over loss of consortium.

A Maryland jury also found for the plaintiff, awarding $1.8 million in another Actos bladder cancer lawsuit; however, that state’s Negligence Doctrine states that if the plaintiff had potentially contributed to his/her death, damage awards are barred under the contributory award. In this case, the man’s family alleged that Actos led his bladder cancer death and the jury found that Takeda was liable for the man’s death. Because of the man’s so-called “contributory negligence”—he was a smoker—Takeda was not found liable. The case is An v. Nieberlain, Case Number 24-C12003565, Circuit Court for the City of Baltimore.

In the largest verdict, to date, a Louisiana jury found that Takeda must pay the plaintiff $9 billion in damages to a couple in a bellwether trial that included allegations that Takeda hid Actos’ cancer risks to ensure that Actos sales were not impacted. The award was the first federal jury decision in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Takeda and its United States-based marketing collaborator, Eli Lilly. Takeda will be liable for $6 billion and Eli Lilly must pay $3 billion. Actual damages of $1.5 million will be split by both drug makers and paid to the couple. Takeda was accused of keeping the results of clinical studies secret since before the drug received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. The case is Allen et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. et al., case number 6:12-cv-00064 and the MDL are both in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. (In re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, case number 6:11-md-02299)

“Juries are clearly understanding the cases and finding fault on behalf of the company despite Takeda’s claims that plaintiffs’ lifestyles, not the drug maker’s behaviors, are to blame for serious illnesses and deaths,” said Parker Waichman’s McCauley, who oversees the firm’s Actos cases. Parker Waichman LLP is actively involved in Actos litigation and has filed lawsuits on behalf of numerous individuals who developed bladder cancer, allegedly due to taking Actos. In fact, Parker Waichman LLP has maintained a leadership role throughout the Actos litigation, with Jerrold S. Parker, founding partner of the law firm, serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

These mounting complaints highlight an increasing level of evidence that reveals that use of Actos is related to a significantly higher risk of developing bladder cancer. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA) warned in 2011 that using Actos for more than one year could substantially raise this cancer risk; patients with bladder cancer were advised to not use the drug.

Parker Waichman LLP continues to offer free legal consultations to victims who suffered bladder cancer after using Actos. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos, please contact the Firm by visiting yourlawyer.com. Free case evaluations are also available by calling 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636).

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Gary Falkowitz
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