Lawyers in our Mass Torts Section have been heavily involved in the litigation involving Actos, the diabetes drug. In June 2011, the FDA warned the public that Actos usage for more than one year may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. Actos, manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, is in a class of insulin-sensitizing drugs known as thiazolidinediones and was approved by the FDA to treat Type 2 diabetes. Since gaining FDA approval in July 1999, Actos has been included in the top 10 best selling medications in the United States in various years.
To date, more than 1500 lawsuits have been filed in the Actos multidistrict litigation (MDL), which is pending before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in the Western District of Louisiana. Earlier this year, Judge Doherty issued a scheduling order setting out litigation deadlines for plaintiffs and defendants for the first two Actos bladder cancer trials scheduled in the MDL in January and April 2014. Accordingly, the bellwether trial process is in full swing, and bellwether case selections are slated for the 15th of this month. As a matter of interest India, has decided to suspend the sale of Actos in that country.
As a reminder, the bellwether trial process involves taking to trial a sample of cases large enough to yield reliable results. The resulting verdicts are used by the lawyers on both sides and by the judge as a basis for resolving or at least evaluating the remaining outstanding claims. The Actos MDL bellwether process involves taking to trial two cases, one selected by our side and one selected by Takeda. The process is to be repeated until an overall resolution of the claims can be reached, if a resolution can be reached.
Aside from the Actos MDL, there are also hundreds of cases pending in state courts across the country. The first Actos trial concluded earlier this year in a California state court. The jury in that case found that Takeda failed to warn of potentially severe side effects and awarded $6.5 million in damages to the Plaintiff. Unfortunately, the trial judge – after the jury verdict was handed down – excluded the Plaintiff’s expert witness testimony and threw out the damage award.
Lawyers in our firm’s Mass Torts Section are currently investigating claims involving bladder cancer with usage of Actos, Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR, and/or Duetact. Our firm currently represents 500 claimants in this litigation and are in the process of evaluating hundreds of other potential claims. If you have any questions regarding the litigation, or if you would like for us to review a potential claim, contact Roger Smith, a lawyer in the Mass Torts Section, at 1-800-898-2034 or by email at Roger.Smith@beasleyallen.com.
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