Actos MDL Judge Approves a 25:1 Punitive Damage Ratio against the Manufacturers

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Judge Doherty, sitting in the Western District of Louisiana, and presiding over the Actos multi-district litigation, approved a ratio of 25:1 in punitive damages to compensatory damages, resulting in an award of punitive damages against Takeda in the amount of $27,656,250.00 and against Lilly in the amount of $9,218,750.00, where:

– The Defendants knew or should have known that their product increased the risk of bladder cancer for an identifiable and extremely vulnerable group to whom they marketed their product;

– The Defendants undertook a twelve-year-long effort to hide the evidence of and information relating to the risk of bladder cancer link from the public, physicians, and the FDA and to avoid providing an adequate warning of that risk;

– The Defendants’ conduct caused personal injury, bodily harm, and the risk of premature death to Mr. Allen and injury to Mrs. Allen;

– The Defendants engaged in numerous acts, over the course of more than a decade, in pursuit of their goal of manipulating, hiding and obfuscating evidence of the bladder cancer connection and information relating thereto;

– The Defendants obfuscated and hid relevant information from the FDA, whose role and purpose is to regulate drug companies on behalf of the public in this country, thus, handicapping the regulatory agency;

– The Defendants handicapped physicians who were attempting to fulfill their role in the health care system and, thereby, impacted the general health and welfare in this country as well as significantly harming Mr. Allen’s health;

– The Defendants benefitted greatly from these activities and generated huge sales of Actos for more than a decade even after they had acquired the knowledge at issue in this case;

– The Defendants effectively wrote off the public health and welfare and the health and lives of the most vulnerable of their target population, such as Mr. Allen, and chose, instead, to honor their own pursuit of profit;

– The Defendants’ sales of Actos uring the relevant time frame reached into the many of billions of dollars and began a precipitous slide once they added a warning in 2011;

– The Defendants’ net worth reached into the billions and sales of Actos over the relevant time period reached to $24 billion.

In re Actos, MDL No. 2299, 2014 WL 5461859 (W.D.La. Oct. 27, 2014).

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