Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit Results in $3.6M Verdict

Takeda Pharmaceuticals has suffered yet another loss in an Actos lawsuit, with a Pennsylvania jury awarding $3.65 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a teacher diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking the diabetes drug. In addition, even larger punitive damages are still being considered by the jury. 

The compensatory damages verdict was handed down on Thursday in Pennsylvania state court in a lawsuit filed by John Kristufek, which alleges that Takeda failed to adequately warn about the risk of bladder cancer from Actos side effects. The jury handed down additional punitive damages today.

Following two days of deliberations, the jury decided that Kristufek was entitled to $318,000 for medical expenses and $2 million for pain and suffering. The jury also determined that Takeda Pharmaceuticals acted with reckless indifference to Kristufek’s health, and awarded Kristufek another $1,334,636 designed to punish the drug maker.

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The case is the latest in a series of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits to go to trial throughout the U.S., with many resulting in multi-million damage awards.

Concerns about a potential link between Actos and bladder cancer emerged in 2010, leading to product liability lawsuits being filed nationwide against the drug makers by former users. The complaints allege that Takeda withheld information about the risk and placed their desire for profits before the safety of consumers.

In a federal trial last year, a jury handed down a $9 billion punitive damage award against Takeda and Eli Lilly, which co-markets the drug. While the punitive damages were later reduced to $37 million, the judge presiding over the entire federal litigation suggested that the Supreme Court needs to update rules on what is considered excessive in order to effectively deter large corporations the type of bad behavior exhibited by Takeda.

In October 2014, another, a Pennsylvania state court jury awarded $2 million in damages to a woman diagnosed with bladder cancer following use of Actos.

Takada Pharmaceuticals faces more than 4,000 complaints filed by individuals diagnosed with bladder cancer nationwide, and estimates suggest that the drug maker may end up paying more than $1 billion in Actos settlements, but taking each case to trial individually could result in substantially higher liability.


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