A Philadelphia state court jury awarded a $2.3 million dollar verdict against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to John Kristufek, a retired teacher who developed bladder cancer after taking the diabetes drug Actos. The jury awarded more than $300,000 for his medical expenses, and $2 million for the pain and suffering he experienced. The jury also concluded that Takeda showed “reckless indifference” to Mr. Kristufek’s health by concealing the risks of Actos, and as a result will reconvene today to consider whether to award punitive damages.
Actos was once Takeda’s top-selling drug, generating over $16 billion in profits since it was introduced to the market in 1999. Actos (generic name: pioglitazone) is a glucose-lowering drug that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Actos was distributed in the US by Eli Lilly until 2006.
In 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration issued new warnings informing consumers that using Actos for more than one year may increase an individual’s risk of developing bladder cancer, information it is alleged Takeda had known since approximately 2004. While defending the thousands of lawsuits filed by Actos users who developed bladder cancer, Takeda destroyed the files of 46 former and current employees that contained information concerning what company executives knew about the bladder cancer research, despite a court order requiring them to preserve those records.
This is the fifth jury to rule that Actos causes bladder cancer. Jurors in California and Michigan ruled in favor of plaintiffs in state court trials in 2013. Both of those verdicts were overturned by the state court trial judges, and are on appeal. Last year a Louisiana jury awarded $9 billion in punitive damages to bladder cancer sufferer Terrence Allen. The award was later reduced to $36.8 million. A Pennsylvania state court jury awarded a retired accountant with bladder cancer $2 million. Takeda officials questioned after this latest verdict in Philadelphia said they were considering an appeal.
The next Actos trial is scheduled in March in Wisconsin state court.
If you or a loved one has taken Actos and subsequently developed bladder cancer, contact one of our Boston Actos lawyers by calling 888-341-1405 or telling us your story here. Thornton Law Firm litigates claims against Actos’ manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and the company that co-marketed Actos in the United States until 2006, Eli Lilly & Co. We offer a 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.