Court overseeing federal Actos bladder cancer lawsuits schedules first “bellwether” case for trial

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by Jim Orr

ACTOS (pioglitazone hydrochloride) is an oral medication used to treat Type 2 Diabetes. It is manufactured by pharmaceutical giant, Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Mounting research indicates that Actos users face a 40% increased risk of bladder cancer after taking Actos for a year or at the highest cumulative dose. Unfortunately, Takeda failed to adequately warn millions of patients about an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with the medication, allowing millions of patients to be put at risk of developing cancer while they received treatment for diabetes. Although the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and drug regulation agencies in France and Germany have alerted doctors and patients of the increased risk of bladder cancer, for many Actos victims, it is too little, too late.

Numerous Actos lawsuits in federal court have been centralized before the Honorable Rebecca F. Doherty in the United States District Court for Western District of Louisiana. The federal multidistrict litigation (or “MDL”) includes claims arising from ingestion of Actos®, ACTOplus Met®, ACTOplus Met XR®, Duetact®, or pioglitazone.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson is pursuing Actos cases on behalf of clients and will be involved closely with the Actos MDL and other Actos bladder cancer litigation matters, so you can expect to find more information here. Of course, feel free to contact us if you have any questions about Actos.

Judge Doherty has recently entered a Scheduling Order which sets many important dates and deadlines for the ACTOS MDL litigation. According to the court’s order, the first trial in the Actos MDL has now been scheduled. The first so-called “bellwether trial” in the Actos MDL is to take place in November 2014.

A “bellwether” case is a claim chosen because it is considered to be average, normal or typical of the numerous other claims. The outcomes of a bellwether cases are designed to help gauge how juries are likely to respond to similar evidence that will be presented in other cases, potentially even helping promote a broad Actos settlement agreement of many or all cases.

According to Judge Doherty’s scheduling order, the court will issue an order before October 31, 2012 to detail a bellwether trial protocol. By June 3, 2013, both parties will be expected to select 20 cases to be prepared for the first Actos trial on November 3, 2014. Additionally, the order states that core discovery for the bellwether cases must be completed by September 30, 2013, and that Judge Doherty will choose the bellwether cases by October 16, 2013. The second bellwether trial is slated for January 12, 2015.

If you or a loved one has suffered bladder cancer, or if you have lost a family member to bladder cancer that may have been caused by Actos use, you deserve compensation. You deserve to have a voice against the pharmaceutical giant Takeda. You deserve the help of an experienced, aggressive attorney who is not afraid to battle Takeda on your behalf.

The law firm of Heygood, Orr & Pearson takes on the pharmaceutical industry and wins, and we will passionately pursue the maximum compensation for you. Contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free consultation to learn about the best way to protect your legal rights and interests.