Judge strikes $140M AndroGel verdict after AbbVie appeal

Gavel court room lawsuit judge
A judge on Thursday reversed a $140 million AndroGel verdict against AbbVie. (Pixabay)

Right on the heels of a legal setback relating to AndroGel antitrust claims, AbbVie has scored a reversal of a $140 million verdict in the case of a plaintiff who argued the company's testosterone drug caused his heart attack.

In the case of Jeffrey Konrad, jurors in October sided with AbbVie on a claim of strict liability, but they also said the company was negligent and misrepresented its drug. They ordered the company to pay $140,000 in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages. 

Now, a judge has ruled the verdicts for strict liability and negligence were "inconsistent." He wrote the court "cannot accept one of the two inconsistent verdicts while discarding the other; both of them have to go." He threw out the damages and ordered a retrial in the fall.

The development marks AbbVie's second major reversal in its AndroGel liability saga. In the first bellwether case, jurors ordered the company to pay $150 million, but the result didn't stand up to appeals. After a retrial, jurors ordered the company to pay $3 million. 

AbbVie won a third bellwether trial in January. In total, the company faces about 4,500 liability lawsuits relating to AndroGel, the company reported in its first-quarter financial filing. 

In a separate issue relating to AndroGel, a judge last week ordered AbbVie to pay $448 million in a case brought by the Federal Trade Commission over allegations the company blocked generics. The judge said Perrigo would have entered the market earlier if not for a "sham" patent lawsuit from the branded company. An AbbVie representative said the company is "disappointed" with the result and will appeal.