In a significant development in the Actos litigation, the California State Appeals Court for the Second District last week reinstated a cancer patient and spouse’s $6.5 million jury award against the makers of Actos, a diabetes medication. The appellate court’s decision reaffirms the importance and role of the jury in deciding claims.
Jack Cooper, a former Pacific Bell employee, was diagnosed with bladder cancer in December 2011 after taking Actos for more than 5 years. Cooper, who was not represented by Lieff Cabraser, charged that his bladder cancer was caused by Actos. After a week of deliberation, the jury found for Cooper in April 2013 and returned a $6.5 million verdict.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kenneth R. Freeman, however, ordered the judgment entered in favor of Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., the manufacturer of Actos. The trial court concluded that the testimony provided by Coopers’ expert urologic oncologist was speculative because he had not definitively rule out all other potential causes for the plaintiff’s bladder cancer.
The appellate court reversed the trial court, holding that the trial court erred in striking the expert’s testimony, and that the trial court exceeded “proper boundaries of its gatekeeping function” in evaluating the admissibility of the expert testimony.
The appellate court explained that the trial court used “a more rigid standard than is required to prove causation in civil cases.” It was not necessary that the plaintiff show Actos caused his bladder cancer with “absolute certainty so as to exclude every other possible cause.” Instead, it was sufficient if the jury found based on the expert testimony that it was more probable than not that plaintiff’s bladder cancer was caused by Actos.
Background on Actos Lawsuits
Lieff Cabraser represents scores of Type 2 Diabetes patients across America who developed bladder cancer after being prescribed the medication pioglitazone, sold under the brand name Actos.
Actos came on the market in 1999 and became the top selling diabetes drug in the world with annual sales reaching a reported $4.5 billion by the end of the fiscal year in March 2011.
Prior to the drug’s introduction to the market in the late 1990s, Takeda allegedly possessed studies on laboratory animals showing an increased risk of developing bladder cancers when the animals were provided the drug. Despite this evidence, Takeda allegedly failed to disclose these laboratory test results to health regulators.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviewed Actos safety in 2010 and found that Actos use can increase the risk of bladder cancer. The FDA mandated updated Actos side effect warnings for bladder cancer in 2011. In Germany, health regulators banned the use of Actos.
What Action Should You Take If You Are Covered By The Actos Settlement
In April 2015, Takeda agreed to pay over $2 billion to settle all bladder cancer claims against the company.
Unfortunately, patients with Actos associated bladder cancer who have not hired attorneys prior to May 1, 2015 do NOT qualify to seek compensation from the proposed settlement and must hire counsel and/or sue on their own in order to have any chance at all of obtaining fair compensation.
Lieff Cabraser seeks to help pursue justice for all bladder cancer victims whose bladder cancers were caused by branded Actos. Affected patients should please contact us for a confidential free consultation on their rights by visiting our Actos case page or calling 1-800-541-7358 and asking to speak to attorney Fabrice Vincent.
We have successfully represented tens of thousands of clients in personal injury and dangerous prescription drug cases across America. In 2014, we served as a member of the trial team that obtained the first jury verdict in federal court finding that Takeda failed to adequately warn about the bladder cancer risk from Actos. We will confidentially evaluate your case for free, promptly, and without any obligation.