Takeda, Eli Lilly Seeking New Trial after $9 Billion Actos Verdict
In what can be described as a less-than-surprising move, Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly are trying to get either a $9 Billion Actos judgment against them reversed or if that doesn’t work, they are seeking a new trial in the landmark case.
In April, a Louisiana federal agreed with two plaintiffs that the pharmaceutical giants withheld vital information from consumers about the diabetes drug Actos. They claimed the company knew about its potential for raising the risk of bladder cancer in those who used the drug, but failed to warn the public and health professionals. The jury ordered $1.5 million in compensatory damages, as well as $9 billion in punitive damages.
This trial was the very first in a series of bellwether trials that had been scheduled in the federal court system. There are several thousand Actos lawsuits still pending. The $9 billion punitive damage judgment was the highest ever in a drug liability lawsuit.
Attorneys for Takeda claimed that they should have a new trial because the multi-billion dollar punitive awards are excessive and unconstitutional.
Plaintiffs have claimed that Takeda Pharmaceutical executives were aware of the Actos bladder cancer risks before the drug was released to the public. Instead of warning consumers, they claim that the company downplayed the dangers and in some instances actually manipulated data to make it appear that the health risks of the diabetes drug were less than they actually were.
In an even more disturbing turn, a judge recently ruled that Takeda purposely deleted or destroyed evidence concerning the company’s knowledge of Actos’ side effects. She determined that Takeda knew of potential Actos bladder cancer litigation as far back as 2002.
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