December 1st Hearing to Determine Status of Actos MDL
Actos bladder cancer lawsuits may soon be consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL), depending on what the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) decides December 1, 2011. Since August, the number of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits filed around the country has steadily increased as more people become aware of the connection between the diabetes drug and the disease. If the JPML designates Actos MDL, these lawsuits will be consolidated into one court, though unlike an Actos class action lawsuit, each case will retain its individual status.
Actos MDL the subject of December 1 hearing
If Actos bladder cancer lawsuits are consolidated, the next question will be: Where will the Actos MDL take place? At the December 1 meeting, those in favor of an Actos MDL argued for locations in Chicago, Lafayette, and Cleveland.
Manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals agrees that an Actos MDL would be prudent. The consolidation would bring all Actos bladder cancer lawsuits into one court, where pre-trial proceedings would be made more efficient and cost effective, while management for the Actos MDL would fall under one federal judge. Each of the Actos bladder cancer lawsuits would remain its own case, however, and once the pre-trial proceedings were completed, many might return to the court where they were originally filed for trial, unless Actos settlements were reached beforehand.
Actos bladder cancer lawsuits filed throughout the nation
Actos MDL is being considered because federal Actos bladder cancer lawsuits have been filed by Actos lawyers in various states across the nation, all alleging that Takeda failed to adequately warn about the risk of the disease. Though non-profit consumer group Public Citizen has long been concerned about the drug and its other potential side effects, including Actos heart problems, the FDA only just recently issued a public health statement concerning the disease, partly in response to the increasing number of plaintiffs choosing to file Actos bladder cancer lawsuits.
Actos MDL not the same as Actos class action lawsuit
In addition to multiple individual Actos bladder cancer lawsuits hitting court dockets across the U.S., an Actos class action lawsuit has reportedly been filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The two Actos class action lawsuit plaintiffs allege Takeda put profits before people in downplaying the risks to boost profits from sales. Any patient who took the drug since its approval in 1999 is eligible to join this Actos class action lawsuit.
Should the Actos MDL go through, however, it will differ from this Actos class action lawsuit, in that the two class action plaintiffs represent all those involved who were injured by Actos. The case, however, may result in small individual damages awards. An Actos MDL would retain the individual nature of all of the distinct Actos bladder cancer lawsuits, and could potentially result in higher individual Actos settlements.
Current estimates are that nearly 1,000 Actos bladder cancer lawsuits may join the Actos MDL, should the JPML decide to move forward.