$2.4 Billion Settlement Reached in Actos Products Liability Litigation

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Attorney Richard J. Arsenault of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, and Paul J. Pennock of Weitz & Luxenberg, were the court-appointed co-lead Plaintiffs’ counsel in the Multi-District Litigation (MDL 2299) pending in Lafayette, Louisiana. 

This settlement relates to legal actions filed beginning in 2011 in response to Plaintiffs diagnosed with bladder cancer as a result of taking the diabetes drug Actos.

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., today announced that they have reached agreement expected to resolve the vast majority of ACTOS (pioglitazone) product liability lawsuits pending against Takeda in the U.S.  Takeda will take a $2.7 billion charge against earnings in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014 to cover the settlement and the costs associated with defending remaining cases and for other related litigation.  The settlement will become effective if 95 percent of current litigants and claimants opt into the settlement.  Once that threshold is achieved, Takeda will pay $2.37 billion into a settlement fund.  However, that figure will rise to $2.4 billion if 97 percent or more of the current litigants and claimants opt to participate in the settlement.

“From the outset of this litigation, we made it clear that the defendants needed to accept responsibility and this settlement goes a long way toward achieving that goal,” Pennock said. “The handling of this litigation by my co-lead counsel Richard Arsenault has been masterful and I am proud to have served at his side these last three years.”

The accord has been reported to be one of the largest U.S. settlements of suits targeting a drug’s side effects. “We are pleased that Takeda has agreed to provide $2.4 billion to compensate thousands of deserving bladder cancer victims,” Arsenault said. “After years of hard fought and contentious litigation, the defendants have finally stepped up to the plate and we applaud that effort.”

Over 4,000 Actos cases are pending in MDL 2299 with the majority of Plaintiffs having been diagnosed with bladder cancer as a result of taking one of the best-selling diabetes drugs on the market.  Judge Rebecca Doherty presided over the first federal court Actos trial in 2014.  After 11 weeks, the jury rendered a historic $9 Billion Punitive Damage Verdict against Eli Lilly and Takeda. “The trial and resulting verdict was unquestionably a team effort by an extraordinarily talented Plaintiff Steering Committee,” Arsenault said. Gary Russo served as the Special Master.

The agreement, now approved by Takeda’s Board of Directors, is intended to resolve nearly 9,000 bladder cancer claims. The allocation of the settlement funds will be determined through a claims administration process with the oversight of a court-appointed Special Master. Each claimant’s allocation will be determined using case-specific factors, such as cumulative dosage and smoking history, along with the extent of injury.

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