Overturning a recent $6.5 million dollar verdict for Plaintiff Jack Cooper in Cooper vs. Takeda  (Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc., CGC-12-518535, California Superior Court, Los Angeles), on May 1, 2013 the Hon. Kenneth Freeman granted two key Takeda’s motions leading to a reversal of the jury verdict of April 26, 2013.

First, Judge Freeman grated Takeda’s motion to exclude the opinions of Plaintiff’s causation expert Dr. Norm Smith that Actos was a substantial factor in specifically causing Mr. Cooper’s bladder cancer.  With no opinion to support that finding remaining in the case, the Court then granted Takeda’s motion for non suit, throwing out the verdict.

Examining the role of an expert and admissibility of the expert’s opinion testimony, and what must be established for an opinion to be admissible to support a verdict, Judge Freeman found Dr. Smith’s work inadequate, stating:

“However, it is evident to the Court that the matter in which Dr. Smith conducted his differential diagnosis is based on speculation, is not reliable, not done with intellectual rigor expected of an expert, and is therefore inadmissible under prevailing California law.”

A non suit is a finding by the Court that, giving Plaintiff’s evidence all the value to which it is legally entitled, the trial court determines there is no sufficiently substantial evidence to support a verdict for Plaintiff.  Without Dr. Smith’s opinion that Actos was the specific cause of Mr. Cooper’s bladder cancer, there was no other evidence according to Judge Freeman to support a Plaintiff’s verdict against Takeda and therefore a non suit was granted.

So if Mr. Cooper is get any redress it will have to come from an appellate Court reversing Judge Freeman.

In September 2010, the FDA ordered a safety review of Actos.  The FDA is continuously reviewing the results of an ongoing ten-year study of the long-term risk of bladder cancer in approximately 193,000 diabetic patients taking Actos.  A significantly increased risk of bladder cancer has been seen among patients from this group who take the highest doses of Actos (more than 28,000 mg) and who take Actos for longer than one year.  Compared to patients never having taken Actos, taking Actos for longer than one year was associated with a forty percent higher risk of bladder cancer

A European study by the French Medicines Agency found a 22 percent higher risk of bladder cancer in approximately 155,000 patients taking Actos from 2006 to 2009, compared to 1.3 million patients not taking the drug.  The risk was highest in patients taking a cumulative Actos dose of 28,000 mg or more during the study period.  Authorities responded to the evidence of bladder cancer risk by recalling Actos in France and Germany.

We continue to believe that Actos is a likely cause and substantial factor in the bladder cancer patients we represent and that ultimately Takeda will be held responsible.  If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with bladder cancer and took the diabetes drug Actos, you may have a claim for your injuriesThomas J. Brandi and the Brandi Law Firm are leaders in nationwide pharmaceutical litigation for decades and is now representing clients who have suffered bladder cancer related to Actos use and filed suits on their behalf. For a free consultation call us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us or go to our website for further information about Actos.