From State to Federal Court: A Case of Actos Bladder Cancer Lawsuit in California

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product_img_popup_01_enAs the Actos bladder cancer multidistrict litigation (MDL) move forward, cases pending before state courts were shaken up with some jumping over the federal court.

This has been the case for a lawsuit filed by a couple from California.

Filed on December 8, 2011 before the Superior Court of California, the Actos bladder cancer claim was moved to a federal court in the Eastern part of the state after determination that it satisfied one of the requirements for federal court filing. The case was transferred on January 3, 2012.

Not all claims can be filed in a federal court. Only cases, which fall in either one of the following categories, can be heard at the federal bench:

1.) Federal question cases (cases related to the United States Constitution or bills passed in Congress).
2.) Diversity of citizenship cases (claims made by citizens from different states with asking damages in excess of $75 thousand).

Plaintiffs’ charge perfectly fits the description for diversity citizenship case.

The couple accused Actos manufacturer Takeda of negligence, deceit, and failure to warn users of possible development of bladder tumor as the diabetes drug’s side effect.

They are claiming for personal injury and loss of consortium and are asking for general, special, and punitive damages inclusive of medical and related expenses and loss of income and earning capacity.

Like other Actos bladder cancer lawsuits, the California couple used results from the clinical studies, published in June 2011, to justify their charges.

In June 15, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) confirmed the Actos bladder cancer link after reviewing data from an interim analysis of a still on-going clinical trial. FDA found Actos users for more than a year in a 40 percent increased risk for bladder cancer.

The drug agency then required Takeda to reflect the development in the labels and inserts of all its pioglitazone-containing drugs. Now, all Takeda’s pioglitazone-containing products carry a black-boxed warning for congestive heart failure and bladder cancer. ActoPlus (Met & Met XR) has added boxed warning for lactic acidosis due to its metformin component.

Pioglitazone-containing drugs are available in the U.S. market as Actos, ActoPlus (Met and Met XR), and Duetact.

Before FDA’s announcement, France has already released results of its own Actos-induced bladder cancer study, which corroborated FDA’s findings.

As a result, France suspended sales of Actos while Germany severely restricted its prescription.

The California couple also mentioned the preclinical scientific studies, which included results from animal lab study, to strengthen their charges.

An MDL for Actos bladder cancer lawsuits kicked off on March 22 before U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Doherty in Lafayette, Louisiana. There were more than 170 cases pending for MDL.

 

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