Two pharmaceutical companies are facing a $9 billion damages bill after a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in a Louisiana courtroom.
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Eli Lilly & Co. were partners in producing the drug Actos, which has been at the center of more than 2,700 lawsuits that have been consolidated into one federal courtroom in front of Judge Rebecca Doherty. Plaintiffs have argued that the manufacturers knew that Actos posed a cancer risk but chose to hide information from patients.
After two months of testimony, a jury determined that the two companies did know that their drug posed a cancer risk, and handed down the $9 billion verdict.
Plaintiff Terrence Allen was also awarded $1.5 million in compensatory damages. He said that his bladder cancer was a result of his use of Actos.
Attorney Mark Lanier, representing the plaintiff, said there was “stunned silence” in the courtroom when the verdict was read.
Under an agreement between the companies, Takeda would assume the cost of the damages.
Takeda and Lilly say they will appeal the verdict, which as it stands could be among the largest awards in U.S. history related to a pharmaceutical product and its effects on patients.
For more information on the lawsuit, visit Bloomberg News.