A Philadelphia state court jury earlier this week, concluded that Actos caused bladder cancer. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. the manufacturer of Actos, received another setback in the conclusion of yesterday’s trial, when the jury also determined that the company acted recklessly and found that punitive damages should be awarded.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. was ordered to pay more than $2.3 million in damages to a Pennsylvanian man who blamed the company’s Actos diabetes drug for causing his bladder cancer.
The jury panel awarded John Kristufek more than $300,000 for his medical expenses and $2 million for pain and suffering from the cancer diagnosis.
The panel will re-convene Friday to determine punitive damages, which are designed to punish the company.
Hopefully, the jurors will be sufficiently outraged by the corporate malfeasance of the company directors and award a large enough punitive damage that will shock and wake up the folks in Japan. Takeda should have no choice but to settle, otherwise face bankruptcy from the tsunami deluge of claims.
Takeda Knew of Cancer Link in 2004
According to court testimony, executives at Takeda knew by 2004 that medical studies tied Actos to cancer but waited seven years to issue a warning to protect billions of dollars in sales, they simply put profits before people.
Plaintiff Serious Injuries From Actos
Kristufek, 74, of Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, was forced to have his bladder removed as a result of the cancer diagnosis.
Plaintiffs blame Takeda researchers for ignoring concerns about Actos drug’s cancer-causing risk before it went on sale in the U.S. and misled the FDA about the medicine’s safety.
8,000 Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuits Cannot Be Wrong
More than 3,500 Actos suits have been consolidated before a federal judge in Louisiana for pretrial information exchanges.
According to court documents, Takeda is exposed to another 4,500 claims in state courts in Illinois, West Virginia and Pennsylvania,
Actos Blockbuster Diabetic Drug
Actos has generated more than $16 billion in sales since its 1999 release, according to Bloomberg News. Sales peaked in the year ended in March 2011 at $4.5 billion.
Takeda Destroyed Key Documents
According to Mike Miller, Kristufek’s attorney, Takeda officials intentionally destroyed documents about the development, marketing and sales of Actos.
Takeda also deleted the files of 46 former and current employees, including those of top executives in Japan and U.S. sales representatives.
“It wasn’t an accident. The dog did not eat the homework,” Miller told the panel. “They deleted those documents so you couldn’t see what was in them.”
Miller said Kristufek, who racked up more than $318,000 in medical bills, is seeking compensation for his pain and suffering along with punitive damages.
The lawyer urged jurors to find Takeda officials showed “reckless indifference” to Kristufek’s health by hiding Actos’ risks. “They put profits over patient safety every time,” he said.
Kristufek, is the ninth Actos patient to take bladder-cancer claims before a jury, and the fifth case to score a victory against the Asian pharmaceutical giant. The company folks in Osaka, Japan will have to give serious thought to stop the hemorrhaging of money in the defense of these indefensible bladder cancer cases and go for a global settlement.
In 2013, California and Maryland juries ordered Takeda to pay a combined $8.2 million in damages over the handling of the drug.
Those verdicts were thrown out by judges and are on appeal. The company also won defense verdicts in two cases in state court in Nevada.
In October 2014, a Philadelphia jury awarded more than $2 million in damages to a retired accountant who blamed her bladder cancer on Actos.
A federal jury in Lafayette, Louisiana, last year awarded a massive $9 billion in damages against Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co. That record breaking verdict was reduced to $36.8 million. The case is on appeal.
The Pennsylvania case is Kristufek v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. The consolidated Actos case in Louisiana is In Re Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation, 11-md-02299, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana (Lafayette).