The first Actos bellwether trial is underway. According to court documents, the jury was selected on January 27, 2014, and the first witness testified on February 3, 2014. Court records show that approximately 2,700 lawsuits have been filed into the Actos multidistrict litigation (MDL). The federal litigation is taking place in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Thousands of plaintiffs in the Actos litigation developed bladder cancer, allegedly because of Actos (pioglitazone).
The plaintiffs in the first Actos bellwether trial are Terrence Allen and his wife, Susan. Mr. Allen took Actos to treat his Type 2 diabetes from 2004 until 2011, at which time he developed bladder cancer. Mr. Allen alleges that Actos caused the cancer and that manufacturer Takeda hid these risks from consumers. He alleges that he never would have taken the drug if he were fully informed of the risks associated with the drug. Mr. Allen’s claims are similar to the 2,700 additional lawsuits pending in the Actos MDL. The bellwether case, which is expected to last 6 weeks, may help determine the course of the remaining cases.
In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that using Actos for more than a year could substantially increase the risk, about 40 percent increased risk, of bladder cancer. Patients with bladder cancer were advised not to use Actos. That same year, authorities in France and Germany banned sales of Actos. Recent studies have increased the bladder cancer risk to as much as 83 percent for long-term Actos users compared to those who do not take Actos.
Most of the claims are related to Actos bladder cancer and heart failure. Plaintiffs maintain that Takeda Pharmaceuticals waited until 2011 to warn consumers about the risk of bladder cancer, after several studies and an FDA safety communication indicated a link between the diabetes drug and the bladder cancer.
We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. Feel free to stop by our website or contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).