The plaintiff, John Kristufek, is a retired high-school teacher who was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2008 after taking Actos for three years. He had his bladder removed surgically in July 2011. One year later, he filed a lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.
Kristufek was awarded $318,000 in past medical expenses, plus $2 million in non-economic damages. It is possible that additional punitive damages will be awarded if the jury decides Takeda acted with reckless disregard for patient safety.
The jury’s decision is the latest in a string of losses for Takeda. Of the eight cases to go to trial, Takeda has lost six, although two were successfully appealed. Last October, another $2 million jury verdict was handed down by a jury in Philadelphia to plaintiff Frances Wisniewski.
Takeda is still facing about 4,000 lawsuits involving Actos in a centralized federal litigation in Louisiana. In April 2014, a jury awarded a record-setting $9 billion to a man who was diagnosed with bladder cancer, although the verdict was cut by more than 99% under state laws capping punitive damage.
In June 2011, the FDA issued a Safety Warning after studies were published linking high-dose Actos to a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer. Over 2.3 million patients used Actos in 2010 and were unknowingly exposed to this risk.
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