Plaintiffs Seek Mass Tort Court for Diabetes Drug Onglyza

Plaintiffs in 44 lawsuits pending in 24 different judicial districts have requested that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation create a new mass tort docket in the Northern District of California for cases involving the diabetes drug Onglyza.

The motion by attorneys Timothy M. Clark and Lauren Welling of Sanders Phillips Grossman, LLC in Irvine, CA, requests that the cases against defendants Bristol-Myers Squibb and AstraZeneca be consolidated in new MDL No. 2809. The JPML meets to decide on November 30.

There are 22 MDLs pending in the Northern District spread among the 20
District Judges. National counsel for the defendants are based in San Francisco. More than half of the plaintiffs are represented by counsel from California. One of the three defendants named in these suits is based in San Francisco.

Another factor in favor of the Northern District of California is its proximity to the only other consolidated proceeding related to Onglyza and the injuries asserted here. Indeed, In re: Onglyza Product Cases, JCCP 4909 pending in front of Hon. Curtis E.A. Karnow in San Francisco.

Risk of heart failure

Onglyza (Saxagliptin) was introduced to the United States market on July 31, 2009, and Kombiglyze was introduced on November 5, 2010. The defendants developed their Onglyza drugs to market and sell them as treatments for type 2 diabetes. However, the use of Onglyza carries a significantly increased risk of causing heart failure, congestive heart failure, cardiac failure, and death from heart failure.

Type 2 diabetics have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the patient population. With full knowledge of the susceptibility of type 2 diabetics to cardiovascular-related adverse events, the defendants allegedly developed Onglyza and Kombiglyze XR to market and sell them to type 2 diabetics to allegedly lower adverse complications associated with type 2 diabetes.

Saxagliptin works by inhibiting incretins, which enables the stimulation of insulin to continue longer than what naturally occurs after meals.

At no time during the development of its Saxagliptin drugs did the defendants perform adequate studies to determine if their drug, and its drastic alterations of the natural incretin hormone cycle, may cause increased risks of cardiovascular-related adverse
events.

In December 2008, the FDA issued a memorandum — entitled Final Guidance for
Industry, Diabetes Mellitus: Evaluating Cardiovascular Risk in New Antidiabetic Therapies to Treat Type 2 Diabetes. It stated that applicants of new anti-diabetic medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes should demonstrate their products are not associated with an unacceptable increase in cardiovascular risk.

After the defendants began selling and making substantial profits off their drugs for five years, they finally conducted a clinical trial for Saxagliptin. It found that  Saxagliptin users had a statistically significant increased risk of being hospitalized due to heart failure.

An FDA committee called on the defendants to add a heart failure warning to the drug in 2015, but no label change occurred until the FDA required a new warning to the drug label on April 5, 2016.

Judge in Abilify Mass Tort Case Orders Defendants to Name Settlement Counsel

US District Judge M. Casey Rodgers ordered lawyers for Otsuka Pharmaceutical and Bristol-Myers Squibb to engage settlement counsel and to have them attend monthly settlement conferences in mass torts litigation over Abilify, an atypical anti-psychotic medication.

Some 374 cases have been consolidated before Judge Rodgers in the Northern District of Florida in MDL 2734, IN RE: Abilify (Aripiprazole) Products Liability Litigation.

Compulsive gambling

Plaintiffs allege that Abilify (aripiprazole), an atypical anti-psychotic medication commonly prescribed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, and Tourette syndrome, can cause compulsive gambling behaviors.

All the lawsuits allege that Abilify was defectively designed or manufactured, that the defendants knew or should have known of the alleged propensity of Abilify to cause compulsive gambling behaviors in users, and that the defendants failed to provide adequate instructions and warnings with this product.

Abilify entered the market in 2002. Abilify floods the brain with dopamine, creates uncontrollable urges on the reward system, and impairs decision-making. Reports of compulsive behavior began showing up in 2008, according to attorney Lexi Hazam of Levin Papantonio.

Patients experience such overwhelming gambling urges while taking Abilify that
they are driven to crime to support their compulsions, according to research by Gavaudan et al., Partial Agonist Therapy in Schizophrenia: Relevance to Diminished Criminal Responsibility, 55 J. FORENSIC SCI. 1659, 1659-60 (2010).

There have been many reports of compulsivity from Abilify in medical literature:

▪ Johannes D.M. Schlachetzki & Jens M. Langosch, Letter to the Editors:
Aripiprazole Induced Hypersexuality in a 24-Year-Old Female Patient With
Schizoaffective Disorder? 28(5) J. CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY 567, 567-68 (2008).
▪ Gilles Gavaudan et al., Partial Agonist Therapy in Schizophrenia: Relevance to
Diminished Criminal Responsibility, 55 J. FORENSIC SCI. 1659, 1659-60 (2010) (2
Cases).
▪ Milton G. Roxanas, Pathological Gambling and Compulsive Eating Associated
with Aripiprazole, 44 AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND J. OF PSYCHIATRY 291, 291 (2010).
▪ M. Kodama & T. Hamamura, Aripiprazole-Induced Behavioural Disturbance
Related to Impulse Control in a Clinical Setting, 13 INT’L J.
NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY 549, 549-50 (2010) (2 Cases).

The defendants put a warning on the drug in Europe in 2012 after reports of 19 cases of “pathological gambling.” In 2015 Canadian regulators concluded that there is “a link between the use of aripiprazole and a possible risk of pathological gambling or hypersexuality” and found an increased risk of pathological (uncontrollable) gambling and hypersexuality with the use of Abilify.”

But it was not until 2016 warning added to drug label in US. “These defendants put a warning label on the drug in other countries, but they were making the biggest profit in the US, but not giving consumers the benefit of that information,” Hazam said.

For more information read FDA Links Abilify to Compulsive Gambling, Eating, Shopping and Sex

 

First Xarelto Trial Underway in Philadelphia Mass Tort Program

XareltoA trial over the blood thinner Xarelto, made by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Bayer Pharma AG, is underway in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, where more than 1,500 Xarelto bleeding claims have been centralized in a mass tort program.

Lynn Hartman of Indiana charges she suffered serious gastrointestinal bleeding after using the novel anticoagulant for a little over a year.  (Case No. 160503416)

During the opening statements, the plaintiff attorney Gary Douglas of Douglas & London asserted that the drug’s manufacturers manipulated clinical trial data and downplayed important safety information to make Xarelto appear safer and more effective than competing blood thinners, such as warfarin.

“Our firm is representing a number of plaintiffs who are pursuing similar Xarelto claims. We will be watching the Philadelphia trial closely for any developments that could impact our clients’ cases,” says Sandy A. Liebhard, a partner at Bernstein Liebhard LLP.

Xarelto Bleeding Allegations

Approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in October 2011, Xarelto is jointly marketed by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary. The blood thinner is currently indicated for the prevention of strokes in people with atrial fibrillation; the treatment of patients suffering from deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism; and the prevention of deep vein thrombosis in people undergoing hip or knee implant surgery.

Like other new-generation blood thinners, Xarelto has been touted as an improvement over decades-old warfarin. However, internal bleeding caused by warfarin can be stopped by the administration of vitamin K. There is currently no approved agent to reverse Xarelto bleeding.

Johnson & Johnson’s most recent earnings statement indicates that more than 21,000 Xarelto lawsuits have been filed in courts throughout the United States.

Plaintiffs involved in this litigation claim that the drug’s manufacturers downplayed the potential for Xarelto bleeding and wrongly promoted the drug as a superior alternative to warfarin. In addition to noting the lack of a reversal agent for Xarelto bleeding, plaintiffs take issue with the medication’s one-size-fits-all dosing regimen and dispute the defendants’ assertions that there is no need to subject Xarelto patients to routine blood monitoring.

The majority of Xarelto lawsuits are currently pending in a federal multidistrict litigation underway in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, where three trials have already concluded with defense verdicts. There are 18,526 lawsuits pending before US District Judge Eldon E. Fallon in MDL 2592, IN RE: Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Products Liability Litigation. Additional Xarelto bleeding claims have been filed in DelawareCalifornia and Missouri state courts.

Xarelto patients who allegedly experienced bleeding-related complications may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

Defense Verdict in First Mass Tort Trial Over IVC Filters

Cook Platinum Celect IVC Filter

This is an update of our “First Trial Underway in Cook IVC Filter Mass Tort Case” published on 

A federal jury in Evansville returned a defense verdict in favor of Cook Medical, the Bloomington-based maker of medical devices, following a three-week trial over its blood-clot filters, which thousands of patients have complained are defective.

Doctors implant about 200,000 blood clot filters nationwide each year. The market for IVC filters is $435 million, according to market research firm Axis Research Mind.


The plaintiff’s case is underway in the first of three mass tort trials on whether Cook Medical Inc. is liable for selling a defective IVC filter that migrated through a blood vessel and punctured the plaintiff’s intestine.

“Defendants know its Cook filter was defective and knew that defect was attributable to the design’s failure to withstand the normal anatomical and physiological loading cycles,” the complaint states. The case is Hill v. Cook Medical, Inc., et al, 1:14-cv-6016.

It is the first bellwether, or test case, of 2,897 cases before US District Chief Judge Richard L. Young of the Southern District of Indiana in MDL 2570, IN RE: Cook Medical, Inc., IVC Filters Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation. 

Cook Medical Inc. of Bloomington, Indiana, won FDA approval for its “removable” Celect blood clot filter in 2003 using the 510(k) shortcut procedure, as opposed to the more rigorous premarket approval (PMA) process. FDA approval through Sec. 510(k) of the Medical Device Amendments of 1976 merely requires that a new device is “substantially equivalent” to a predicate device — but not a review of its safety or efficacy as would happen in a premarket approval application (PMA).

Perforated intestine

Plaintiff Elizabeth Jane Hill of Dunnellon, Florida, had a removable Cook Celect filter implanted in her vena cava, a large vein carrying blood into the heart, before back surgery on Nov. 17, 2010. By March 23, 2011, doctors tried unsuccessfully to remove the filter. Hill developed severe gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

She underwent an endoscopy that revealed the filter had perforated through her inferior vena cava and into her small intestine. She went to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, a specialized hospital where the filter was finally taken out. As a result, the vena cava was permanently narrowed at the removal site.

The FDA recommends removing temporary filters between 29 and 54 days after implantation. However, studies have found that 43 percent of Celect filters perforate the vena cava within two months.

Hill charges that Cook failed to tell doctors that the filter cannot be removed and that it poses a risk of migrating, perforating and damaging the major blood vessel.

“The Cook filter had a safety profile that was not as good as or better than its predicate device,” the complaint states. “Defendant’s statements regarding the safety of the filter were false and misleading yet defendants continued to promote the Cook filter as safe an effective even though the data available studies, literature and clinical trial did not support long or short term safety and efficacy.”

Class Action Bill Will Harm Consumers and Benefit Large Corporations

By Joseph Rainsbury, an appellate attorney in Roanoke, VA

Congressman Bob Goodlatte is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Earlier this year, he introduced a bill (H.R. 985) that, if passed, will deprive consumers of a valuable tool for combating corporate misconduct — the modern class action.

Goodlatte’s website says that his “Fairness in Class-Action Litigation Act of 2017” will “protect innocent individuals and small businesses who have become the targets of frivolous suits.” In reality, the bill will protect large corporations from meritorious lawsuits brought by consumers whom they have cheated and injured.

Class actions allow plaintiffs with similar claims to pool their litigation efforts against a single defendant. Suppose your cable company, without your permission, adds a $5 channel to your bill every month. It makes no economic sense for you to sue the cable company. Your attorney’s fees would dwarf any recovery. But if the cable company is doing the same thing to a million other customers, and you can join with those other customers in a single action, a lawsuit becomes economically viable.

Keeping large corporations honest

The real value of class actions, however, is not in the resulting recovery — which often is only a few dollars per customer. Rather, their real value is that the threat of such actions keeps large corporations honest. It deters them from nickeling and diming us to death.

Congressman Goodlatte’s bill, however, would kill federal class actions as we know them. Here’s how. For a class-action to proceed in federal court, the judge has to “certify” the class, which means he decides whether the plaintiffs’ claims have enough in common to justify their proceeding as a class.

Up until now, plaintiffs seeking class certification merely had to show “commonality” in one aspect of their case (e.g., they are all complaining about the same corporate misconduct). Goodlatte’s bill changes that. It requires that plaintiffs show commonality in all aspects of their cases, including damages. In opaque legalese, buried in the middle of the bill, it requires that the “entirety of the cause of action” satisfy the commonality requirement. Yet it is virtually never the case that class members have identical damages.

In the example above, the cable company might overcharge different consumers by different amounts, for different channels, or for different lengths of time. And where the class action involves corporate practices causing personal injuries, each class member is always going to be unique in terms of medical expenses, lost wages, pain, etc. Requiring commonality in all aspects of the class members’ cases would effectively destroy federal class actions as a way to police the misconduct of large corporations.

Not a reform bill

It is distressing that this has been proposed by Congressman Goodlatte. His Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 provided welcome reforms to many of the unsavory practices of class-action plaintiffs’ lawyers. By conferring federal jurisdiction over class actions with aggregate claims of over $5 million, the 2005 Act allowed corporate defendants to escape notorious state-court “judicial hellholes” (such as Madison County, Illinois) where corrupt state judges systematically favored equally corrupt plaintiff’s lawyers. It allowed such corporations to get a fair hearing in federal court.

It is distressing that this has been proposed by Congressman Goodlatte. His Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 provided welcome reforms to many of the unsavory practices of class-action plaintiffs’ lawyers. By conferring federal jurisdiction over class actions with aggregate claims of over $5 million, the 2005 Act allowed corporate defendants to escape notorious state-court “judicial hellholes” (such as Madison County, Illinois) where corrupt state judges systematically favored equally corrupt plaintiff’s lawyers. It allowed such corporations to get a fair hearing in federal court.

Goodlatte’s current bill, by contrast, is not a reform bill. It throws the baby out with the bathwater. Are there problems and abuses in modern class-action litigation? Sure. But the correct approach is to make targeted repairs, not to junk the whole system. Contrary to the claims on Goodlatte’s website, the “Fairness in Class-Action Litigation Act of 2017” will harm, not protect, individuals.

Large corporations, no longer fearing class-action suits, will go back to chiseling consumers and introducing harmful products into the marketplace. So if the “Fairness in Class-Action Litigation Act Of 2017” passes, and the president signs it into law, you will know who to thank when you see that extra five dollar charge on your cable bill, when your loved one suffers a bad reaction to a mass-marketed drug, or when your airbag fails to deploy during an accident: your Congressman, Bob Goodlatte.

MDL Panel to Decide on Mass Torts Docket Nov. 30 for Equifax Litigation

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will decide on Nov. 30 whether to create a new MDL docket for the dozens of class action lawsuits filed against Equifax for allowing a massive data breach September 7, 2017.

Equifax joined plaintiffs in requesting the new MDL. The breach compromised the names, social security numbers, birth dates and credit card information of 143 million people. This information can be used to steal a person’s identity and commit fraud.

“The No. 1 crime in America is identity theft. It has surpassed drug trafficking,” said Micah Adkins of The Adkins Firm, speaking at the recent Mass Torts Made Perfect conference. “You’re much more likely to be a victim of identity theft than an auto accident.”

$200 million settlement is plausible

More than 100 consumer lawsuits charge that the company violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which requires Equifax to “maintain reasonable procedures” to avoid identity theft. It allows for individual statutory damages of up to $1,000 per person, punitive damages, attorney fees and costs.

A global settlement of about $200 million is plausible, attorney Nathan Taylor told the Insurance Journal, based on the $115 million that Anthem Inc. health insurance company agreed to pay in June 2017 over hacking in 2015 that compromised about 79 million people’s personal information.

The motion was filed by Norman Siegel of Stueve, Siegal Hanson LLP of Kansas City, MO, John A. Yanchunis of Morgan & Morgan of Tampa, FL and Roy E. Barnes of The Barnes Law Group LLC of Marietta, GA.

They seek to consolidate 22 cases and any tag-along cases filed in US District Court in Georgia. Equifax is headquartered in Atlanta. Among the federal judges recommended by the motion are:

  • William S. Duffey, who is hearing one of the Equifax cases and who has overseen MDL litigation.
  • Thomas W. Thrash, who oversaw the Home Depot Inc. security breach. The company last year reached a $19.5 million settlement with consumers over a hack that exposed payment information of 56 million customers.
  • Amy M. Totenberg, who is presiding over data breach litigation involving Arby’s Restaurant. More than 350,000 credit and debit card accounts may have been impacted by a data breach in February 2017.
  • Richard W. Story, who is overseeing Ethicon Physiomesh hernia mesh products liability litigation in MDL No. 2782.

Equifax has a history of data breaches, including its W-2 Express website, which suffered an attack in May 2016 that resulted in the leak of 430,000 names, addresses, social security numbers and other personal information of retail firm Kroger.

Equifax reported to the New Hampshire attorney general of a breach that between April 2013 and January 2014, an “IP address operator was able to obtain the credit reports using sufficient personal information to meet Equifax’s identity verification process.”

 

Trial Judge Reverses $417 Million Verdict in Talcum Powder Cancer Case

Citing jury misconduct and a lack of evidence, a California trial judge reversed a $417 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a case where a woman charged she got ovarian cancer from the company’s talcum powder.

Judge Maren Nelson of Los Angeles Superior Court granted the company a new trial, citing several reasons:

  • Three jurors who voted against liability were improperly excluded from determining damages during deliberations.
  • There was no clear and convincing showing that J&J active with malice to support a punitive damages award.
  • There was insufficient proof of causation.
  • The parent company, which is a legally separate entity from its Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. subsidiary, can’t be held liable for failure to warn if it isn’t the one manufacturing and marketing the product.

Just last August a jury awarded $68 million in compensatory damages against the parent company and $2 million against the consumer unit, plus $340 million in punitive damages against the parent company and $7 million against the consumer unit.

The plaintiff was Eva Escheverra, 63, who had a 10-year fight with cancer that spread to her spleen, liver, kidneys, intestine, pancreas, and spine. She died after the verdict was returned. The case is Eva Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson, No. BC628228 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The ruling is the second recent setback for talcum powder users. Last week a Missouri Appeals Court Vacated $72 Million Talc Cancer Verdict for a Non-Resident Plaintiff. It ruled that the trial court could not take jurisdiction over the company because its activities in Missouri did not give rise to the claims of non-residents who bought and used its products elsewhere.

Johnson & Johnson is facing 4,800 talcum powder claims in California, Missouri, New Jersey and Delaware state courts, as well as New Jersey federal court. The company faces 1,252 lawsuits in MDL 2738 in New Jersey before US District Judge Freda L. Wolfson, IN RE: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation. 

MO Appeals Court Vacates $72 Million Talc Cancer Verdict for Non-Resident Plaintiff

A family photo of Jacqueline Fox and her son, Marvin Salter.

A family photo of Jacqueline Fox and her son, Marvin Salter.

The Missouri Court of Appeals vacated a $72 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson, ruling that the trial court could not take jurisdiction over the company because its activities in Missouri did not give rise to the claims of the non-residents who bought and used its products elsewhere.

In February 2016, a St. Louis Circuit Court jury awarded $72 million to the family of Jacqueline Fox of Birmingham, AL, who used Johnson’s baby powder for 35 years. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013 and died last year.

Fox was one of 63 out-of-state plaintiffs who sued J&J under Missouri Rule 52.05, which allows non-residents to join resident plaintiffs when all their claims arise out of the same transactions or occurrences.

J&J is incorporated and headquartered in New Jersey. Missouri courts historically have exercised personal jurisdiction over defendants as to joined non-residents’ claims so long as jurisdiction exists as to the residents’ claims.

Consistent with this practice, the trial court determined that specific personal jurisdiction existed, reasoning that J&J’s alleged conduct satisfied Missouri’s long-arm statute (§506.500) and minimum contacts.

Reversal due to Bristol-Myers Ruling

The appeals court reversed and vacated the verdict based on the 2017 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court (BMS) that a non-resident plaintiff must establish an independent basis for specific personal jurisdiction over the defendant in the state.

In BMS, a group of more than 600 plaintiffs, mostly non-residents, sued BMS in
California for injuries allegedly caused by the drug Plavix. The California courts had
rejected BMS’s challenge to personal jurisdiction on the non-residents’ claims, reasoning, similar to the Missouri trial court, that BMS’s extensive contacts in the state supported jurisdiction, particularly because the non-residents’ claims were similar to residents’ claims.

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed, holding that specific personal jurisdiction requires a connection between the forum state and the specific claims at issue. “When there is no such connection, specific jurisdiction is lacking regardless of the extent of a defendant’s unconnected activities in the state.” 137 S.Ct. at 1781.

The Missouri appeals court said, “The fact that resident plaintiffs sustained similar injuries does not support specific jurisdiction as to non-resident claims.”

The ruling could overturn three other recent St. Louis jury verdicts of more than $200 million combined against the New Jersey-based health care giant, which has also appealed the cases.

The plaintiffs in the talc cases allege strict liability for failure to warn, negligence, breach of express and implied warranty, civil conspiracy, concert of action, and negligent representation, alleging that Johnson & Johnson marketed and sold its talc products knowing that they increased consumers’ risk of ovarian cancer.

 

Mass Tort Judge Signals Settlement in Taxotere Hair Loss MDL

Telegraphing that there will be a settlement in Taxotere chemo drug products liability litigation, the judge in the mass tort docket ordered plaintiff attorneys to file information about all pending and anticipated claims “so that “claimants may have the opportunity to participate in any eventual resolution process.”

US District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt directed Pretrial Order No. 60 to the Plaintiff’s Settlement Committee that he appointed shortly after the multidistrict litigation docket was created last October 2016.

To date plaintiffs have filed 1,624 lawsuits in MDL 2740, IN RE: Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation, in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Hundreds of additional cases may exist.

Total, permanent hair loss

Taxotere is manufactured by Sanofi. However, half of the cases in the MDL involve generic and quasi-generic manufacturers, whose products obtained FDA approval under 21 USC Sec. 505(b)(2) and not through the more traditional generic approval under 21 USC Sec. 505(j).

The plaintiffs charge that they experienced total, permanent hair loss following treatment with the chemotherapy drug. While Taxotere was first approved to treat breast cancer in 1996, it wasn’t until December 2015 that mention of permanent alopecia (hair loss) was included on the drug’s U.S. label. t is true that alopecia is a common side effect of chemotherapy.

Temporary alopecia is a common side effect of chemotherapy, but permanent, disfiguring hair loss is not.

Attorneys have until October 16 to file spreadsheets that include the plaintiffs’:

  • Name and date of birth.
  • City and state where docetaxel was ingested.
  • Facility where docetaxel was administered.
  • Start and stop date of docetaxel use.
  • Name of manufacturer.
  • Filing state, jurisdiction and case number.

The information must be updated quarterly to BrownGreer’s MDL Centrality program, which is a custom-built platform designed specifically to streamline the exchange of information in MDLs and other mass tort cases. 

The Plaintiff’s Settlement Committee will use the data to analyze the strength of the cases in furtherance of a settlement. “Should this litigation advance to the point where a resolution program is underway, the Court may then address methods and vehicles for Responsible Attorneys and Covered Individuals to provide similar information to the Defendants for their review, analysis and verification,” Judge Engelhardt says.

Jury Orders AbbVie to Pay $140M in Testosterone Bellwether Trial

A federal jury in Chicago awarded more than $140 million to a man who claimed that AbbVie Inc. misrepresented the risks of its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel, causing him to suffer a heart attack

Jeffrey Konrad, 56, of Tennessee, had used AndroGel for two months in 2010 when he had a heart attack.

The jury held AbbVie liable for negligence, intentional misrepresentation and misrepresentation by concealment, and awarded $140 million in punitive damages and $140,000 in compensatory damages.

The case is Jeffrey Konrad, et al. v. AbbVie, Inc., et al., No. 15-966, N.D. Ill. Konrad’s attorneys are Christopher Seeger and David Buchanan of Seeger Weiss in New York and Matthew Teague of Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles in Montgomery, Ala.

In July 2017, a federal jury in another bellwether trial ordered AbbVie Inc. to pay $150 million in punitive damages to Jesse Mitchell of Oregon after finding the company liable for fraudulent misrepresentations about the safety of AndroGel.

Plaintiffs who charge that AndroGel can cause heart attacks, strokes and blood clots have filed 6,038 lawsuits in Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation in MDL 2545, consolidated before US District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly in the Northern District of Illinois.

The FDA required AbbVie to add a warning about cardiovascular risk to AndroGel’s label in May 2015.