Defense Verdict Returned in Pulmonary Embolism Bellwether Lawsuit Over Androgel

After prior juries indicated that the makers of Androgel should be required to pay millions in damages to plaintiffs who suffered injuries due to side effects of the testosterone gel, an Illinois jury has returned a defense verdict in the latest bellwether trial.

The verdict came in an Androgel lawsuit brought by Arthur Myers, who suffered a bilateral pulmonary embolism in February 2008, which he alleged were caused by the unnecessary use of the low-testosterone drug. Following a two week

The case is part of an on-going series of early “bellwether” trials scheduled in the federal testosterone drug litigation, which are designed to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout thousands of Androgel cases pending in the federal court system.

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Each of the claims raise similar allegations that AbbVie failed to adequately warn about the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other blood clot injuries linked to Androgel.

Given similar questions of fact and law raised in each case against AbbVie, as well as similar claims against the makers of competing testosterone replacement drugs, the federal litigation has been centralized before U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois for coordinated discovery and management.

Trial began in the Myers case on May 7, with the jury returning a verdict (PDF) in favor of AbbVie yesterday.

The drug maker’s win comes after several other juries returned multi-million dollar awards in prior cases. In October 2017, a jury awarded $140 million in damages to a man who suffered a heart attack on Androgel, and last month another jury awarded $3.2 million, after an initial verdict of $150 million was overturned on post-trial motions.

Another bellwether case is set for trial to begin next month against AbbVie, and another 19 trial dates are set between October 2018 and March 2019.

While the outcomes of these bellwether trials are not binding on other plaintiffs, they are being closely watched and may have a significant influence on eventual testosterone settlements that may avoid the need thousands of individual cases to go to trial nationwide.

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