A judge in Louisiana has set a date for the first hearing in dozens of Actos bladder cancer lawsuits that are set to be heard in the state’s federal court. Judge Rebecca Doherty said that she plan to appoint head lawyers for the cases after a hearing in her Lafayette, Louisiana courtroom on March 22.
Although the hearing involves only 150 Actos lawsuits that are currently before Judge Doherty’s court, lawyers involved with the cases expect that thousands of additional claims may be filed or transferred to the Louisiana federal court by the end of the year. Thousands of other Actos lawsuits are also expected to be heard in state courts in California and Illinois.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuits against Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals have accused the company of hiding the link between Actos and bladder cancer. Health officials in France and Germany stopped sales of Actos in 2011 because it was linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Although Food and Drug Administration officials issued a warning about the Actos bladder cancer link, the agency did not issue a recall and allowed the drug to stay on the market.