Lawyers at Beasley Allen continue to evaluate and file claims involving bladder cancer during or following usage of Actos, Actoplus Met, Actoplus Met XR, and/or Duetact. Manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Actos is in a class of insulin-sensitizing drugs known as thiazolidinediones and was approved 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 for several years. 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.
To date, more than 2,000 cases 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. Significant progress is being made in the Actos MDL, and the bellwether trial process is in full swing. The Actos MDL bellwether process involves the taking to trial of two cases, one selected by the Plaintiffs’ side and one selected by Takeda. After those cases are tried or settled, the process is repeated until an overall resolution of all the claims can be reached in some manner. That normally requires at least one trial. The first trial is slated for January 27, 2014, with the second one scheduled to start on April 14, 2014.
In addition to the Actos MDL, litigation is in progress in various state courts as well. Earlier this year, the first Actos trial concluded in a California state court, and the jury determined that Takeda failed to warn of potentially severe side effects and awarded $6.5 million in damages to the Plaintiff. In a post-trial order, the court excluded the Plaintiff’s witness testimony and overturned the damage award.
The second Actos trial, which started August 27 in Baltimore, Md., resulted in an unusual outcome. The jury returned a $1.7 million verdict in the case for the Plaintiff, but also returned a verdict saying the Plaintiff was guilty of contributory negligence. The Baltimore jury found that Takeda negligently failed to warn about the risk of bladder cancer associated with Actos and that Actos was a substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s bladder cancer. The jury determined that the $1.7 million was the appropriate measure of damages. However, the jury also found that the Mr. An, the plaintiff, did not act with reasonable care toward own health and that this was also a substantial factor in developing bladder cancer. Therefore, applying Maryland law, the Court determined that Mr. An’s family is not entitled to compensation. Since this issue is going to the printer we don’t have much more information on the outcome of this case. Obviously, the verdict poses a problem since it appears to be inconsistent. Additional information may clear this up. Mike Miller represented the An family in this case and he did a good job.
Additionally, about 3,000 cases are pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Ill., before Judge Deborah Dooling. The bellwether process is currently underway in that court. Also, in California, Actos cases were consolidated by the Los Angeles Superior Court under the direction of Judge Kenneth R. Freeman.
Andy Birchfield, who heads up our firm’s Mass Torts Section, was appointed by Judge Doherty to the Actos MDL in Louisiana. He and Roger Smith, another lawyer in the section, have been heavily involved in the Actos litigation. If you have any questions regarding any aspect of this litigation, or if you would like for us to review a potential claim, contact either Andy or Roger, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Andy.Birchfield@beasleyallen.com or Roger.Smith@beasleyallen.com.
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