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Three Case Management Orders Entered in Actos MDL

Actos packagingThere are currently more than 3500 Actos lawsuits centralized in the Western District of Louisiana in MDL: 2299 (In Re: Actos (Pioglitazone) Products Liability Litigation) before United States Magistrate Judge Hanna Doherty. In addition, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos, the diabetes medication, faces 4500 additional lawsuits in state courts in Pennsylvania, California, West Virginia, and Illinois.

With some cases reaching trial and the list of Actos lawsuits in both federal and state courts growing, Judge Doherty has entered two Case Management Orders to manage the necessary flow of information on the progress of state court proceedings and a third Case Management Order to further refine the fact sheets for litigants in the MDL.

Case Management Order for ongoing Actos lawsuits

On January 16, 2015, Judge Doherty entered Case Management Order: Reporting on Ongoing State Court Proceedings declaring that the effective and efficient management of the MDL proceedings required “… that this court and the parties remain timely apprised of all Actos-related court proceedings, including those in state courts…”

Some of this information includes: the filing of any Actos lawsuits; any claims for punitive damages; the dismissal and/or settlement of a suit; a trial verdict or judgment; any post-trial motions and the ruling on those motions; the filing of an appeal and its resolution; the filing of an application for State Supreme Court review; and the opinion of the State Supreme Court.

Case Management Order for resolved Actos lawsuits

Judge Doherty also entered Case Management Order: Reporting on Resolved State Court Proceedings declaring that the disclosure of all information on resolved state court proceedings should be quickly made available to the Actos MDL proceedings.

Such information to be disclosed includes:

  • The court before which the case proceeded
  • The Plaintiffs’ and Defendants’ counsel
  • What law applied
  • The manner of resolution
  • If resolved by dispositive motion or by trial
  • Verdict or judgment
  • Settlement if not subject to confidentiality order
  • The Actos user’s background information
  • The user’s exposure to Actos
  • The user’s medical history
  • The user’s treatment for bladder cancer
  • The user’s risk/causative factors of bladder cancer
  • If any appeal was filed

Defendants ordered to disclose detailed information on each plaintiff in MDL

Also on January 15, Judge Doherty entered Case Management Order: Fact Sheet Analysis, requiring the Defendants (Takeda and Eli Lilly) to submit to the court detailed individual information for each Plaintiff in the MDL. The information includes: Actos User Background Information; the Plaintiff’s Exposure to Actos including the date Actos use began, the dosage, what date usage ceased, the duration of Actos use, any changes made to the dosage over time, and the cumulative Actos dose at the time of diagnosis of bladder cancer.

Also to be disclosed: complete and specific medical history of each Plaintiff leading to the diagnosis of bladder cancer, all treatments received for the bladder cancer, if it returned, and when.

In addition, the Defendant could supply any causative risk factors for the Plaintiff including any environmental or occupational exposures to risk factors that might cause bladder cancer and any genetic abnormality or predisposition which might present a risk factor for bladder cancer.

8,000 Actos lawsuits in federal and state courts

Actos is the very definition of a blockbuster drug, generating more than $16 billion in sales since it hit the market in 1999. The approximately 8,000 Actos lawsuits in federal and state courts all argue that Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly were fully aware that patients using Actos over an extended period of time were at a 22% increased risk in developing bladder cancer.

The Actos cancer lawsuits further argue that not only did Takeda and Eli Lilly neglect to warn doctors and patients of the bladder cancer risk, but that they intentionally destroyed evidence to bar bladder-cancer victims from proving the drug harmed them.