A Virginia man has filed an Actos bladder cancer lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the Type 2 diabetes drug; Takeda subsidiaries; and Eli Lilly and Company. The man and his wife allege that Actos caused his bladder cancer.
The case, filed on behalf of Timothy Plaugher and his wife Peggy Ann Plaugher, joins similar federal Actos lawsuits that were consolidated before U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty, who is overseeing the Actos bladder cancer lawsuit multidistrict litigation in Lafayette, Louisiana. We recently wrote that Judge Doherty appointed plaintiffs’ attorneys to leadership roles and key committees in the litigation. The first status conference in the Actos bladder cancer litigation began yesterday.
As we’ve mentioned, Judge Doherty decided to make the appointments in order to allow the committees to have their initial planning sessions with the Court on March 23rd, while the attorneys are still in Lafayette. A total of 12 attorneys were named to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, including Jerrold Parker, managing partner with the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP.
All federally filed Actos bladder cancer lawsuits were ordered transferred to Judge Doherty by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in December. Plaintiffs accuse Takeda Pharmaceuticals and other defendants of concealing knowledge of Actos’ bladder cancer risks and failing to adequately warn consumer and health care providers about its association with bladder cancer.
Mr. Plaugher alleges he developed bladder cancer after using Actos to treat his Type-2 diabetes. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages and the complaint states that Takeda knew, or should have known, that Actos use in humans increases risks for developing bladder cancer. The lawsuit also alleges that for over one decade and, to date, Takeda hid its knowledge that Actos was linked to a dangerous risk of bladder cancer and that Takeda never fully disclosed pre-clinical scientific studies that included animal evidence supporting these dangerous links.
The lawsuit also alleges that Takeda concealed this knowledge prior to applying for and receiving Actos approval and that Takeda had known since the early 2000s, that human clinical trials revealed a significant Actos-bladder cancer link. According to the lawsuit, Takeda willfully, wantonly, and with malice withheld the knowledge of increased cancer risks in Actos patients and that this caused Mr. Plaugher to suffer severe and permanent personal injury including bladder cancer and related sequelae, pain and suffering, bodily impairment, and economic losses, among other issues.
According to a prior Bloomberg News report, some legal experts believe Takeda could eventually face as many as 10,000 Actos bladder cancer lawsuits. A wave of litigation was sparked by a June 15 warning from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) that using Actos for more than one year could increase bladder cancer risks. That month, the French and German governments suspended Actos sales in those countries after a study commissioned by French regulators demonstrated an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with Actos in people who took it the longest and at the highest cumulative dose. On July 12, Takeda Pharmaceuticals officially recalled Actos from the market in France.