ORANGE, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Miller Firm, LLC regrettably announces that after obtaining a Plaintiff’s verdict in the world’s first Actos™ trial, the Court has vacated the jury’s decision. On April 26, 2013, a California jury awarded Jack and Nancy Cooper $6.5 million dollars in their case against Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County.
Mr. Cooper, age 79, was borderline diabetic in 2006 when his family doctor prescribed Actos™. He took the drug for five years before being diagnosed with bladder cancer. Mr. Cooper’s bladder was surgically removed. Unfortunately, his cancer returned in 2012 and metastasized. Because of Mr. Cooper’s grave diagnosis, The Miller Firm decided to move for an expedited trial over the strong objections of Takeda.
Cooper v. Takeda was the first case of its type to go to trial. The case centered on Mr. Cooper’s allegations that Takeda not only failed to warn the public and the medical community about the bladder cancer risk of its drug Actos, but continued to aggressively market the drug as safe and effective. The jury also saw evidence that Takeda misled the public about the dangers of Actos, including an e-mail exchange in which key personnel discussed data on risks of bladder cancer from Actos. The “worst-case scenario,” according to Takeda personnel, would be one in which the FDA mandated label warnings about the link between Actos and cancer. “Actos is the most important product for Takeda and therefore we need to manage this issue very carefully and successfully not to cause any damage for this product globally,” Takeda Executive Kiyoshi Kitazawa said in one of the e-mails. A 2012 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggests that for patients who took Actos as long as Mr. Cooper, the risk for bladder cancer is increased by as much as sevenfold.
Michael J. Miller was the lead trial attorney for the plaintiffs and was supported by the dedicated lawyers and paralegals of his law firm. “In the end,” Mr. Miller said, “this case can be summarized by one document. In 2011, Takeda instructed sales representatives not to bring up bladder cancer with doctors and instead, ‘sell, sell, sell.’” After nine weeks of trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the Coopers, awarding Mr. Cooper $5 million and Mrs. Cooper $1.5 million. As Mr. Miller said in closing argument, “The truth loves a jury.”
Rather than paying just compensation to the Coopers, California Superior Court filing records show that Takeda filed motions to keep the jurors from hearing expert testimony that Actos caused Mr. Cooper’s bladder cancer.  On May 1, 2013, the Court granted Takeda’s motion and dismissed the Coopers’ case despite the jury’s finding that Takeda was responsible for Jack Cooper’s injuries. The Miller Firm strongly disagrees with this decision and believes that this decision will be reversed on appeal.
Commenting on the decision to take the case away from the jury, Mr. Miller stated, “The jury system is a bedrock of our society, and essential to preserving the democratic principles of our country. The jury in this case took its civic duties seriously, thoroughly examined the evidence over eight days of deliberation and found that Takeda knew about the risk of bladder cancer, but failed to tell doctors. It is unfortunate that Takeda is trying to evade this verdict and deny the Coopers' fair compensation.”
The Miller Firm is honored to have represented the Coopers and will continue fighting for their cause during the appeals process. The firm continues to litigate hundreds of Actos bladder cancer cases, with many going to trial over the next year. Takeda will not be able to continue evading juries and will be held accountable for their actions. The Miller Firm will continue to seek justice for the thousands of other patients who needlessly suffered from bladder cancer as a result of Takeda’s actions.
 Mamtani, et al. Association Between Longer Therapy With Thiazolidinediones and Risk of Bladder Cancer: A Cohort Study, JNCI J Natl Cancer Inst (2012) 104 (18): 1411-1421.
 Court Filings, Cooper v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Inc., CGC-12-518535, California Superior Court