Judge Sets First Actos MDL Trial Date for 2014
According to Judge Rebecca Doherty, who is overseeing Actos multidistrict litigation in the Western District of Louisiana, the court is going to need significant time to complete discovery and pretrial preparations before any federal Actos side effects lawsuit goes to trial. Plaintiffs seeking damages for Actos cancer, therefore, will need to wait about two years before seeing any real action on these cases.
Plaintiffs claim Actos bladder cancer
According to an order signed July 13, 2012, the court, after considering the scope of the proceedings, the number of plaintiffs (both current and anticipated), and the amount of discovery that will be required, set deadlines that schedule the first bellwether trial for November 3, 2014. The second trial is scheduled for January 12, 2015.
Plaintiffs involved in the Actos MDL typically claim to have suffered from bladder cancer after taking the drug to control their type II diabetes. An Actos lawyer for the plaintiffs is likely to blame manufacturer Takeda for failing to warn of the risks.
It wasn’t until June 15, 2011 that the FDA issued an official drug safety communication noting that patients taking Actos for more than a year may be at a 40 percent increased risk of bladder cancer.
Actos lawsuit may be chosen for bellwether trial
Because there have been so many plaintiffs, the Actos MDL is expected to be quite complicated. Choosing a small number of cases to represent the rest—these cases are called “bellwether trials”—can help to streamline the process once the trials get underway. Jury decisions on a few cases can help determine future negotiations on Actos settlements.
Judge Doherty laid out a complete schedule for the next two years, detailing the steps the parties will take in Actos litigation. For example, she has set June 3, 2013 as the date when the parties shall select 20 cases to serve as “discovery pool” cases. An Actos lawyer will then likely work with these selected cases to take discovery from witnesses, which is scheduled to be completed on September 30, 2013.
In addition, bellwether trials are expected to be selected by October 16, 2013, with parties completing case-specific discovery in the first trial case by December 18, 2013.
Patients may seek advice of an Actos lawyer
The Actos MDL is expected to continue to grow even as the court begins pre-trial proceedings. The statute of limitations in some states is only one year after the discovery of injury, but in other states, it is two-to-three years.
Meanwhile, scientific studies supporting the threat Actos bladder cancer continue to come to light. For example, on July 3, 2012, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published an analysis that concluded that taking Actos increased the risk of bladder cancer by about one-fifth.