The Miller Firm helps cancer victim obtain $6.5 million verdict against diabetes drug maker
<0> The Miller FirmDavid Dickens, Esq.888-281-3578 </0>
A Los Angeles jury found that the manufacturer of the popular diabetes drug, Actos, prescribed to 10 million people worldwide, was liable for failure to warn about cancer risks related to that drug. In a verdict that other plaintiff attorneys are calling “devastating” for Takeda, the Japan-based company was ordered to pay $5 million for damages to diabetes patient Jack Cooper who took the drug, and an additional $1.5 million for damages related to loss of consortium to his wife, Nancy. According to a 2011 article in Bloomberg, Actos accounted for 27 percent of Takeda’s revenue, and had sales of $4.5 billion in that year. Mr. Cooper was represented by Michael Miller of The Miller Firm and Turner Branch of the Branch Law Firm. Jack Cooper’s case was first of nearly 3,000 cases to go to trial. Because of the serious nature of his illness Miller and Branch moved aggressively to ensure that Mr. Cooper saw his day in Court.
According to Miller, his first meeting with Jack Cooper was a powerful one. “Before Actos, Jack had been in good shape, regularly walking five miles, repairing his own roof, and going deep-sea fishing with his grandchildren. Unfortunately, its now likely that Jack Cooper will be dead in the next seven months from bladder cancer,” Miller stated, at the start of the trial in February.
This accelerated timeline forced the firms to expedite their trial plan and motion the Court to set an early trial date so their client would get his day in court. The first Actos case in Federal court is not scheduled to begin until January 2014 and Jack couldn’t wait.
Then the trial team partnered with Pittsburgh-based analytics firm Crivella West to help them prepare for discovery.
Miller’s and Branch’s aggressiveness paid off; not only did Mr. Cooper get an early trial date, but their small trial team, using Crivella West’s latest technology and methods, was able to quickly find the key evidence in the 16 million pages of documents produced by Takeda’s attorneys. Cases of this scale normally require 2 years and hundreds of attorneys to prepare. With the help of Crivella West’s big data analytics and cutting edge methods, five talented attorneys were able to prepare for trial, find the crucial evidence and win a large verdict for Mr. Cooper and his family.
Cooper’s attorneys presented internal documents that, in Miller’s words, showed that “Takeda sales representatives never warned...Cooper’s doctor [that] the diabetes medicine Actos could cause bladder cancer. It was never mentioned in more than 195 office visits to discuss the company’s products.”
The jury also was presented evidence that Takeda misled the FDA about potential dangers of the drug, including an e-mail exchange in which key personnel discussed data on risks of bladder cancer from Actos. The “worst-case scenario,” according to Takeda personnel, would be one in which the FDA mandated label warnings about the link between Actos and cancer.
“Actos is the most important product for Takeda and therefore we need to manage this issue very carefully and successfully not to cause any damage for this product globally,” Takeda Executive Kiyoshi Kitazawa wrote in one of the e-mails presented as evidence. The Miller Firm and The Branch Law Firm are national practices involving the representation of individuals who have been seriously injured by pharmaceutical or other defective products.