Jury Awards $6.5 Million in Actos® Bladder Cancer Suit

On Friday, April 26, 2013, a Los Angeles jury awarded $6.5 million to the plaintiff, finalizing the suit filed against Japanese pharmaceutical company, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, for hiding the link between Actos® and the high risk of bladder cancer. The action was brought by 79-year-old Jack Cooper, who was diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking Actos for five years.

This verdict is a strong first step in the pursuit of justice for the many Actos users who have been harmed by the drug. Our attorneys at Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc. have represented many clients in pharmaceutical litigation and hope that the lawsuits that follow this verdict in the ongoing Actos matter are equally successful.

During the trial, Dr. Norm D. Smith, University of Chicago Assistant Professor of Urology and Surgery, testified that the plaintiff had no family history of cancer and that Actos was “the most substantial causative factor” of his disease. Dr. Smith further testified that, although a smoker, the plaintiff’s smoking history was not a substantial factor in his diagnosis.

Additional testimony harming Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ defense included that of Howard Greenberg, a drug researcher and pharmacologist, who stated that he had seen internal communications between Takeda executives which expressed concerns that Actos sales would go down due to warnings about the drug’s bladder cancer risks. He further testified that these emails did not include any concern over patient risks.

Mr. Cooper claimed that his doctor would not have prescribed Actos, nor would he have taken it, had Takeda warned of the increased risk of bladder cancer in an appropriate and timely manner. This is the first of thousands of claims filed against the Japanese pharmaceutical company to go to trial and reach a verdict. Jack Cooper was given a prognosis of, at most, eight months left to live, which is why his suit was chosen to proceed first.