U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty, who is presiding over all federal Actos bladder cancer lawsuits, has appointed a number of attorneys to serve in various leadership roles in the recently formed multidistrict litigation (MDL).
These attorneys will perform certain actions during the coordinated pretrial proceedings what will benefit all plaintiffs who have filed a lawsuit after developing bladder cancer from Actos, which they allege the drug maker failed to adequately warn about.
At the end of last year, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered that the federal bladder cancer litigation involving Actos be centralized before Judge Doherty. As a result, individual complaints filed in federal district courts throughout the United States have been transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana for coordinated handling during pretrial proceedings, which many people equate with an Actos class action.
The first hearing in the Actos MDL is scheduled to occur on March 22. In advance of the meeting, Judge Dohrety issued an order on March 12, appointing two attorneys to serve as co-lead counsel, one attorney as liaison counsel and established an executive committee consisting of seven attorneys. Judge Doherty also created a plaintiffs’ steering committee consisting of 12 attorneys.
Actos (pioglitazone) was developed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals and approved by FDA to treat Type 2 Diabetes in July, 1999. It is a once-a-day pill that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. The medication has grown in popularity in recent years, generating $4.3 billion in sales last year.
The number of product liability lawsuits filed in courts throughout the United States has increased dramatically since FDA officials began reviewing the potential link between Actos and bladder cancer problems in September 2010.
Research has suggested that long-term users of the diabetes medication may face an increased risk, and many have suggested that an Actos recall should be issued or that the manufacturer should provide stronger warnings to consumers and the medical community.
During pretrial proceedings, the Actos attorneys appointed to the various leadership roles will perform certain functions that benefit all cases, such as taking common witness depositions and arguing pretrial motions that apply to multiple cases.