On April 7, 2014, a Louisiana jury rendered a multi-billion verdict against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co and Eli Lilly & Co., the makers of the Actos diabetes medication, finding that the companies hid the cancer risks associated with the drug.

Plaintiff Terrence Allen brought a federal suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, alleging that Actos was a dangerous drug that caused his bladder cancer.  The verdict included $1.5 million in compensatory damages for Mr. Allen, and $9 billion in punitive damages – $6 billion from Takeda and $3 billion from Eli Lilly – the seventh largest jury verdict in the nation’s history, according to Bloomberg.com.  Because of an agreement between the parties, Takeda may end up paying the entire amount.

More than 2,700 federal lawsuits involving Actos have been consolidated in multidistrict litigation before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty, with the Allen case the first to go to trial.  Thousands more actions have been filed in state courts around the country; more than 3,400 Actos cases have been brought in Illinois courts alone.

Jason J. Thompson

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Jason J. Thompson

Jason Thompson is a nationally board certified trial attorney and co-chairs Sommers Schwartz’s Complex Litigation Department. He has a formidable breadth of litigation experience, including class action and multidistrict litigation (MDL), and practices nationwide in both state and federal courts.