Takeda-pharma_200x200[1]By Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

The first federal MDL Bellwether trial in the Actos litigation (MDL 2299) began yesterday in Lafayette, Louisiana before the Honorable Rebecca Doherty. The plaintiff is Terrance Allen, a New York man who was prescribed the diabetes drug Actos from 2004 until 2011 when he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Allen’s opening statement asserts that the evidence will show that Takeda had information about Actos causing bladder cancer for over 10 years and withheld this information from doctors and patients. Actos also raises the risk of heart disease, although that is not at issue in this trial.

Opening arguments on behalf of both the plaintiff, Terrance Allen, and defendants were delivered yesterday. The first witness called to the stand was Stacey Dixon Calahan, Assistant General Counsel for Takeda. Ms. Calahan is testifying regarding evidence that Takeda has admitted is missing – what lawyers call spoliation of evidence – and is scheduled to resume her testimony today. Allen’s lawyers are arguing that the evidence that is gone was deliberately lost, deleted and destroyed by Takeda.

In deciding a number of pretrial motions last week, Judge Doherty ruled that the court will “allow evidence of and relating to Takeda’s conduct as to documents and electronic data destruction to go before the jury…” The jury consists of 7 women and 2 men. The trial is expected to last approximately six weeks. The second federal Bellwether trial in MDL 2299 is scheduled to begin in April of this year.

If you or a loved one developed bladder cancer or heart disease after taking Actos, call Thornton Law Firm’s Actos team at 1-888-341-1405 to speak with one of our drug and medical device lawyers or tell us your story here. All inquiries are free and strictly confidential.