December 11, 2014

It only took jurors in a West Virginia court three hours to conclude that Takeda, the pharmaceutical giant and maker of type II diabetes medication Actos (not to be confused with Takada, the maker of faulty airbags), destroyed evidence that could have been used at trial.  The jurors of the Berkeley County circuit court fined Takeda $155,000 for failing to preserve documents in the case brought against them by plaintiff Richard Myers (note: Myers is not represented by The Cochran Firm, D.C.).

Although judges in prior cases against Takeda verbally reprimanded the drug maker for failing to produce the destroyed documents, Myers’ case is the first time a monetary penalty has been handed down for the alleged destruction of relevant company documents.

Takeda Actos bladder cancer lawsuit

Mr. Myers’ claim is the eighth against Takeda to go to trial and is the fifth judgement against the Actos maker.  There are 3,500 other cases consolidated under multidistrict litigation in Federal District Court in Louisiana and approximately 4,500 other cases pending in state courts.

In another Actos lawsuit filed by a Philadelphia plaintiff, a jury awarded $2 million in damages.  Takeda has also been hit with about $27.6 million in punitive damages by a Louisiana judge.

Link between Actos and bladder cancer

Drug maker Takeda is finding itself at the center of legal battles over how much and when it knew there was a link between taking the diabetes medication Actos and an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.  Plaintiffs allege that Takeda was aware Actos users were at a great risk of developing bladder cancer since Food and Drug Administration approval process.

Bladder cancer is a particularly aggressive disease and even when patients are in remission, they must endure continual monitoring because of the high recurrence rate. Victims of Actos injuries allege that had they been made aware of Actos’ link with bladder cancer, they would have discontinued taking the medication and switched to a safer treatment.