LAFAYETTE, La. — Several Actos bladder cancer cases have gone through bellwhether trials in the last year. In April, 2014, a jury rendered a $9 billion verdict against the drug makers. The pharmaceutical companies appealed the verdict and the federal judge ruled yesterday that the verdict will stand.
The jury’s Actos verdict was the first of nearly 3,000 lawsuits coordinated before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty in Lafayette, La. Judge Doherty permitted the jury to hear testimony about an previous ruling in which she sanctioned drug manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. for deleting emails. She later expanded her ruling to say Takeda had acted in bad faith.
Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co., another defendant, asked the court to reject the verdict as a matter of law, calling one of their key arguments challenging the evidence in her sanctions order “troubling.” Judge Doherty rejected this contention, stating “Specifically, evidence of the fact that Takeda destroyed files, and why, is relevant to the questions of Takeda’s intent and to the nature of its conduct, a pivotal aspect inherent in the punitive-damages claim.”
The jury found Takeda and Eli Lilly & Co. negligent in marketing the drug, which is used for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, by failing to warn about its cancer risks. The verdict includes $1.475 million in compensatory damages. The drug companies obviously disagreed with the holding and will again attempt to have the ruling overturned either in the same court or from an appeal to a higher court.
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