One of the first cases involving a plaintiff who developed bladder cancer as a result of taking the diabetes drug, Actos was filed by Mass Tort Attorneys of Searcy Denney in the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division.
This case involves a married executive who lives in the Miami area and took Actos for years before being diagnosed with bladder carcinoma, for which he has undergone numerous procedures and surgeries.
This case is being transferred to the newly-created MDL No. 2299 styled In Re: Actos Products Liability Litigation. Attorney Cal Warriner appeared at the hearing before the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation in late November in Savannah, at which time the panel of federal judges heard argument from plaintiffs as well as Takeda Pharmaceuticals regarding the need for establishment of an MDL as well as the locale. Both sides supported establishment of an MDL to coordinate the litigation, which is expected to ultimately include hundreds if not thousands of cases filed on behalf of diabetics who developed bladder tumors after using the diabetes drugs:
- Actoplus met
- Actoplus met XR
- Duetact insulin sensitizing drugs
The litigation may also include claims filed by plaintiffs who contend that Actos and related drugs increased their risks of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiac ailments. Similar litigation has been pending for years in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania against the manufacturers of Avandia, a diabetes drug similar to Actos, that has been linked to a number of heart injuries.
On December 29, 2011, the JPML issued its order transferring all of the pending Actos lawsuits to the Western District of Louisiana, one of the venues urged by the drug manufacturer and a small group of plaintiffs’ lawyers. The panel rejected the plaintiffs’ suggestions that the cases be sent to federal courts in Alabama, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio, and New Jersey. Takeda Pharmaceuticals had also suggested that the cases be sent to Chicago, where a number of lawsuits were already pending. Judge Rebecca Doherty, a district court judge in the Western District of Louisiana will oversee the cases.
The first hearing before the judge will take place soon, and private organizational meetings of the plaintiffs’ lawyers who represent Actos claimants have already occurred.