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Jury Awards $155K for Document Destruction in Actos Lawsuit

Jury Awards $155K for Document Destruction in Actos Lawsuit

November 18, 2014 — Law360 reports that a jury in West Virginia has awarded $155,000 to a man who was diagnosed with bladder cancer after using Actos, ruling that Takeda Pharmaceuticals intentionally destroyed documents that were critical to his case.

Takeda lost or destroyed critical files on 46 current and former employees, including top executives who were responsible for developing Actos and marketing it in the United States. The destruction continued after Takeda was ordered to retain Actos-related documents.

In January 2014, U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty told a jury they were allowed to infer that those documents were intentionally destroyed to hide critical evidence. Soon after, Takeda was hit with a record-setting $9 billion jury verdict in Louisiana, which was later cut to $37 million.

The plaintiff, Richard Myers, is a 71 year-old retired bakery worker. His lawsuit accused Takeda of failing to warn about the risk of bladder cancer from Actos. In 2011, the FDA warned that the risk of bladder cancer increased 40% for people who used Actos for more than a year.

However, the jury decided that Myers could not prove that Takeda knew about the risk of bladder cancer but concealed that information. Instead, they found that Takeda systematically destroyed documents that might have contained evidence to prove his claims.

Bloomberg reports that Myers is the eighth person to win a trial involving Actos bladder cancer claims. Last month, a jury awarded $2 million to a woman who filed a similar lawsuit.

Takeda is still facing about 3,500 lawsuits in a centralized litigation in federal court in Louisiana. Another 4,500 cases are pending in state courts in Pennsylvania, California, West Virginia, and Illinois.

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