|April 22, 2014|
Previously published on April 8, 2014
A federal jury in Louisiana yesterday ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Eli Lilly & Company to pay $1,475,000 in compensatory damages, finding that they failed to adequately warn about bladder-cancer risks of their diabetes medicine Actos. Jurors also found that Takeda and Lilly executives acted with wanton and reckless disregard for patient safety in their handling of the drug, and awarded a total of $9 billion in punitive damages against both companies.
Lieff Cabraser attorney Donald C. Arbitblit served as a member of the trial team working closely with lead trial counsel Mark Lanier in representing Terrence Allen, a former hardware-store manager from New York. Allen developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for more than five years starting in 2006.
The Allen case was the first federal court Actos "bellwether" trial, a trial intended to serve as a representative case for a large number of similar cases involving the same allegedly defective or dangerous product.
Commenting on the verdict, Arbitblit stated, "The jury's award demonstrates that there was powerful evidence that for years Takeda and Lily put their profits ahead of the safety of patients. Takeda and Lilly ignored and downplayed research linking Actos to bladder cancer and misled safety regulators, physicians and patients as to the cancer danger from Actos."