Lilly, Takeda Pharmaceuticals to Appeal $9 Billion Punitive Damages Award

A jury in Louisiana also awarded $1.475 million in compensatory damages. This is the first federal case to be tried and the first in the consolidated multidistrict litigation involving Actos, a diabetes drug the companies co-promoted from 1999 to 2006.

Eli Lilly and Company and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. announced they will challenge a jury's awards of $9 billion in punitive damages and $1.475 million in compensatory damages in Terrence Allen, et al. v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., et al., No. 6:12-cv-00064, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. The jury allocated 75 percent of the liability to Takeda and 25 percent to Lilly and awarded $6 billion in punitive damages from Takeda and $3 billion from Lilly in the case, which involved a claim that Takeda Pharmaceuticals concealed cancer risks associated with its diabetes drug Actos.

Both companies issued statements stating that all three previous Actos trials resulted in judgments for Takeda Pharmaceuticals. This huge punitives award came in a trial that began Feb. 3 in the Lafayette, La., courtroom of U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty.

"While we have empathy for the plaintiff, we believe the evidence did not support his claims. Lilly disagrees with the verdict and we intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all available legal means," Mike Harrington, Lilly’s senior vice president and general counsel, said in an April 8 statement posted by the company.

"Takeda respectfully disagrees with the verdict and we intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all available legal means, including possible post-trial motions and an appeal," Kenneth D. Greisman, senior vice president and general counsel of Deerfield, Ill.-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., said in its statement. "We have empathy for the Allens, but we believe the evidence did not support a finding that ACTOS caused his bladder cancer. We also believe we demonstrated that Takeda acted responsibly with regard to ACTOS."

According to Lilly's statement, its agreement with Takeda Pharmaceuticals stipulates that Lilly will be indemnified by Takeda for its losses and expenses with respect to the U.S. litigation and other related expenses in accordance with the terms of its indemnification agreement. It says the two companies co-promoted Actos from 1999 to 2006.

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