Jury awards $6.5M verdict in first Actos bladder cancer lawsuit trial

by Eric Pearson

A California state court jury on April 26, 2013 awarded a $6.5 million verdict to plaintiff Jack Cooper in the first Actos bladder cancer case to go to trial. Cooper’s case is one of more than 3000 similar cases pending against Takeda Pharmaceuticals alleging that their popular diabetes drug causes bladder cancer and other serious complications. Many of the cases are pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court, where Cooper’s case was tried, and many others have been consolidated into Multidistrict Litigation in the Western District of Louisiana.

Seventy-nine year-old Cooper took the diabetes drug for more than four years before being diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2011. His lawyers alleges that Takeda researchers ignored or downplayed concerns about the drug’s cancer-causing potential before it went on sale in the U.S. in 1999, and misled U.S. regulators about the medicine’s risks. During the nearly two month trial, they told the jury that Takeda’s own research found links between Actos and bladder cancer as early as 2004 but did not tell federal regulators of the link for seven years. In the meantime, Actos became a blockbuster drug for Takeda, reaching peak sales of $4.5 billion in 2011 and accounting for more than 25% of Takeda’s annual revenue.

Jurors deliberated for five days before determining that Takeda failed to provide adequate warnings that its drug could cause bladder cancer. They awarded $5 million in compensatory damages to Cooper and $1.5 million to his wife. They declined to award punitive damages.

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. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have extensive experience litigating defective pharmaceutical and medical device lawsuits. In fact, over the last few years, we have collected more than $200 million for our clients in lawsuits relating to defective pharmaceutical products.

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