On Friday a state court jury awarded 79-year old Frances Wisniewski $2,050,000 in compensatory damages in her lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals for her development of bladder cancer after taking Actos to help control her diabetes. The jury rejected Takeda’s claim that Ms. Wisniewski’s smoking caused her bladder cancer.
Takeda and its US distributor Eli Lilly manufactured and distributed piaglitazone, brand name Actos, but did not disclose until 2011 test results it obtained in 2004 showing that the drug caused bladder cancer. Then when lawsuits were filed against Takeda, it ignored federal court orders requiring it to preserve internal documents about the bladder cancer research and what various company executives knew about this dangerous medicine. The company actually destroyed the files of 46 current or former employees in blatant disregard of the court orders. The jury in this case, surprisingly, declined to award punitive damages. The jury in the Louisiana trial against Takeda earlier this year awarded $9 billion in punitive damages, an award which was upheld by the trial court on appeal.
Takeda has announced that it is considering its legal options, but an appeal is likely. Thus far seven cases have been heard over the link between Actos and bladder cancer; Takeda has won the trials, or won the appeals, of five of the seven. This is the second verdict against Takeda this year. Takeda and Eli Lilly are appealing that Louisiana $9 billion punitive damages award.
Takeda has made $16 billion in sales of Actos since it was introduced onto the market in 1999. Sales peaked in 2011 at $4.5 billion in the year ending March, 2011, the same year that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required a warning about the risk of bladder cancer to be placed on Actos packaging.
The next Actos case is scheduled to be heard in state court in West Virginia on October 15th.
Thornton Law Firm has assembled a team of Boston Actos lawyers to pursue claims against the manufacturer of Actos, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the company that co-marketed Actos in the United States for many years, Eli Lilly & Co. If you believe you developed bladder cancer after taking Actos, please tell us your story here or call 888-341-1405 for a free, confidential evaluation of your claim. You have legal rights, and those rights have strict time limits. Do not delay seeking legal advice