$155K Awarded in Actos Lawsuit for Document Destruction

$155K Awarded in Actos Lawsuit for Document DestructionNovember 18, 2014 — Takeda Pharmaceuticals has been ordered to pay $155,000 for intentionally destroying documents critical to a lawsuit involving Actos, according to Law360.

The lawsuit was filed by Richard Myers, a 71 year-old retired bakery worker who was diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos. In 2011, the FDA warned that taking Actos for more than a year was associated with a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer.

The jury in West Virginia state court found that Myers could not prove he was inadequately warned about the bladder cancer risks of Actos. Even so, they awarded him compensatory damages plus legal costs after finding that Takeda systematically destroyed documents. His attorneys plan to file a motion for additional sanctions.

Takeda can’t find documents on 46 current and former employees involved in the development, marketing, and sales of Actos, including two top executives — the director of the pharmaceutical development division and a senior vice president of sales for the company’s U.S. division. Some of the files were deleted after the company was ordered to retain Actos-related documents.

Takeda’s willful destruction of documents played a major role in a $9 billion verdict handed down by a jury in Louisiana earlier this year, which was recently cut to $37 million. In January, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty told the jury they were allowed to infer that Takeda acted in “bad faith” by destroying documents to hide evidence.

According to Bloomberg, Myers is the eighth person to win an Actos lawsuit against Takeda. More than 3,500 additional cases are pending before Judge Doherty in federal court. Another 4,500 cases are pending in state courts in Illinois, West Virginia, California, and Pennsylvania.

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