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Jury Selected in Actos Bladder Cancer Bellwether Trial

Filed January 29th, 2014 Joshua Sophy

The first witness in a bellwether trial that will determine whether the type 2 diabetes drug Actos caused a man to develop bladder cancer will take the stand next week.

A jury was selected earlier this week and pretrial motions are scheduled to be heard later this week in U.S. District Court in Louisiana. The first witness is scheduled to take the stand in this trial on Feb. 3.

This is the first of at least 2,700 lawsuits combined as part of a Multidistrict Litigation to reach a jury trial. The lawsuits allege that taking Actos in the treatment of type 2 diabetes caused them to develop bladder cancer.

In this first case, Terrence Allen alleges that took Actos to treat his bout with type 2 diabetes from 2004 until 2011. It was in 2011 that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. In his lawsuit, Allen alleges that Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Actos, hid information that showed taking Actos could lead to bladder cancer. He claims that if had been presented with this information when he first started taking the drug, he would have never agreed to the treatment.

Last year, an analysis of six previous clinical trials involving Actos confirmed that there is a link between the type 2 diabetes drug and bladder cancer. Those findings were published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, according to a report from Public Health Watchdog.

The outcome of this bellwether trial could weigh heavily on the remainder of the lawsuits pending against Takeda Pharmaceuticals that also allege taking Actos caused diabetics to develop bladder cancer or put them at risk of the disease.

Commenting on the proceedings this week, attorney Jerrold S. Parker said in a statement, “My firm represents a number of individuals who have used Actos and were thereafter diagnosed with bladder cancer and we are determined to fight for their rights. We are pleased to see that the litigation as a whole is moving forward.”

Parker is founding partner at Parker Waichman LLP, which represents numerous people whose lawsuits have been consolidated as part of this massive federal litigation against the maker of Actos. Parker is serving on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee as part of the Multidistrict Litigation.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca F. Doherty is presiding over this bellwether trial. The trial will be heard in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (MDL No. 2299).

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