The first product liability trial over claims that Takeda Pharmaceutical’s diabetes drug Actos caused bladder cancer was tossed out of court more than two years ago, but a California appeal court recently ruled to reinstate a $6.5 million jury award against the Japanese drug company. On July 16, 2015, the appeals court held that the lower court’s finding of Actos cancer victim’s expert testimony as “inherently unreliable” was made in error, and reversed the verdict.
Jack Cooper, an elderly man who developed bladder cancer after taking Actos for five years, accused Takeda of failing to disclose that their top-selling diabetes drug was strongly linked to bladder cancer. In April 2013, a jury awarded the $6.5 million verdict to Cooper and his wife, only to be entered in favor of Takeda just five days later by a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, citing speculative testimony that lacked substance. The Coopers’ victory was granted just two months after the dismissal of Takeda’s appeal of a $36.8 million award to plaintiffs in a class action, following Takeda’s previous $2.4 billion settlement.