LAS VEGAS — A Nevada state court judge overseeing a jury trial over the alleged bladder cancer risks of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd.’s blockbuster diabetes medication drug Actos announced Oct. 7, 2015 that Takeda and two plaintiffs had tentatively resolved their claims.
According to Courtroom View Network (CVN), Judge Jerry Wiese told lawyers outside the jury’s presence that a tentative deal had been struck. He said the jury would likely be released Monday pending final negotiations. A Takeda spokeswoman confirmed a tentative agreement had been reached.
$250,000 Settlement Average
Plaintiffs in the Las Vegas trial were a man who developed bladder cancer and the family of a man who died from bladder cancer. They had chosen not to participate in a $2.4 billion settlement agreement to resolve most of some 8,000 Actos lawsuits. The deal seemed ready to crumble when the trial began in August, because a high number of Actos victims had not yet accepted it. Since then, however, enough plaintiffs signed on to lock in the settlement terms. The average payout comes to roughly $250,000.
Actos Verdict – $9 Billion
In 2014, a federal jury hit Takeda with a whopping $9 billion verdict over Actos. U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty cut the award to $36 million. She also admonished Takeda for destroying Actos-related evidence, a subject raised in the opening arguments in the Las Vegas trial. The plaintiff’s attorney repeated jury instructions from the judge, which said jurors should presume that missing Actos-related information on hard drives destroyed by Takeda contained information adverse to the company’s position. (One wonders why the same ruling doesn’t apply to Johnson & Johnson illegally destroying evidence it had been ordered to keep in the Pelvic Mesh MDL court in West Virginia.)
Actos became one of Takeda’s top-selling drugs after it was launched in 1999 and jointly marketed with Eli Lilly & Co. France and Germany pulled Actos from the market in 2011, the same year the U.S. FDA only issued a warning that Actos could cause an increased risk of bladder cancer. Actos pulled in $4.5 billion in sales in 2011. According to Bloomberg News, it made up 27 percent of Takeda’s revenue in 2011.
Nine Actos Trials
Nine Actos cases have gone to trial since 2013. Juries ruled against Takeda in five cases, though two of those five were later thrown out by judges. In July 2015 a California appeals court reinstated the first $6.5 million plaintiffs verdict against Takeda, after a lower court had granted the company’s request for a new trial.
The case is George Decou, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., et al., case number A-13-683446-C in Nevada’s Eighth Judicial District Court in Clark County.