On April 28, 2015, U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca F. Doherty, the judge overseeing the Actos injury cases in federal court nationwide, issued an order recognizing that Takeda, the manufacturer of Actos, has agreed to settle all bladder cancer claims brought against the company by Actos users who satisfy the following three conditions:
- they took Actos at some time prior to December 1, 2011,
- they were diagnosed with bladder cancer on or before April 28, 2015, and
- they are represented by counsel, or retained counsel by May 1, 2015.
The settlement amount will be between $2.37 and $2.4 billion, depending on the percentage of claimants who participate.
In the Actos lawsuits, plaintiffs allege that individuals who use Actos, a prescription medication used to treat type 2 diabetes, face an increased risk of developing bladder cancer. Plaintiffs further allege that the defendants concealed their knowledge of this risk and failed to provide adequate warnings to consumers and the health care community. Takeda and the other defendants deny all allegations of fault.
Lieff Cabraser supports the settlement and believes it will provide fair compensation to those who took Actos. Average payments of close to $250,000 per person may be increased for more severe injuries, and reductions may occur where an individual had other likely causes of bladder cancer, especially smoking.
The proposed settlement will provide compensation in the relatively near future, possibly as early as this year, while waiting for trial would likely take years, and any trials would be followed by lengthy appeals.
Even though there have been published reports of verdicts against Takeda, all of those cases have been appealed, and no plaintiffs who went to trial have received any payments. Also, Takeda has won some of the trials, so plaintiffs who do go to trial run the risk of getting nothing.
“All things considered, we believe the settlement is in the best interests of Actos users,” stated Lieff Cabraser attorney Donald C. Arbitblit.
By Fabrice Vincent.