$9 Billion Award in Louisiana Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit

April 8, 2014 — Bloomberg News reports that a federal court in Louisiana has ordered Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly to pay a combined $9 billion in punitive damages to Terrence Allen, a man who developed bladder cancer after using Actos (pioglitazone) to control type-2 diabetes.

Takeda, the manufacturer of Actos and Asia’s largest drug-maker, was ordered to pay $6 billion. Eli Lilly, Takeda’s partner in the United States, was ordered to pay $3 billion. Kenneth Greisman, Takeda general counsel, said:

“Takeda respectfully disagrees with the verdict and we intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all available legal means, including possible post-trial motions and an appeal.”

The jury earlier awarded Mr. Allen $1.5 million in compensatory damages. Mark Lanier, Mr. Allen’s attorney, said Takeda didn’t provide warnings about the risk of bladder cancer until 2011, seven years after experts said the evidence was clear. In addition.

Lanier accused Takeda officials of intentionally destroying documents about the development, marketing, and sales of Actos, including files on 46 former and current employees. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty penalized Takeda for destroying the documents. She is also currently presiding over more than 2,700 Actos lawsuits in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL).

According to data compiled by Bloomberg, it is the seventh-largest jury award in U.S. history. However, it will probably be reduced because the U.S. Supreme Court has said punitive verdicts must be proportional to compensatory damages. Of the ten largest punitive verdicts against corporations, all were reversed or substantially reduced. Judges in California and Maryland have already thrown out a total of $8.2 million in jury verdicts against Takeda.

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