Actos RICO Class Action Lawsuit

Actos RICO Class Action Lawsuit

A Minnesota union health and welfare benefit fund and consumers in four states have filed a federal racketeering class action lawsuit against Takeda Pharmaceutical Company—Japan’s largest drug company and the maker of the diabetes drug Actos—and pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Company.

The Actos RICO class action lawsuit claims that Takeda and Eli Lilly concealed the risk that Actos [pioglitazone] posed in causing bladder cancer in order to ensure the continued profitability of Actos throughout the United States. Also named as a defendant in the Actos RICO class action lawsuit is Takeda’s U.S. subsidiary, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., a Delaware company. Eli Lilly & Co., based in Indianapolis, Indiana, was also named in the Actos RICO class action lawsuit. By court order, the case was assigned the same case number as the Actos multidistrict litigation: MDL No. 11-md-2299.

The Plaintiffs

Plaintiffs named in the Actos bladder cancer lawsuit are the Minnesota-based Painters and Allied Trades District Council 82 Health Care Fund, Annie M. Snyder, a California consumer, Rickey D. Rose, a Missouri consumer, John Cardarelli, a New Jersey consumer, Marlyon K. Buckner, a Florida consumer, and Sylvie Bigord, a Massachusetts consumer. The plaintiffs are represented by Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, of Los Angeles, CA, Pendley, Baudin & Coffin, L.L.P., of New Orleans, LA, and Larson King, L.L.P., of St. Paul, MN.

The Allegations

The plaintiffs claim that the defendants engaged in a decade-long scheme to conceal the significant bladder cancer risks associated with Actos. As a result of the alleged deception, consumers, prescribers, and third-party payers were denied the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions regarding the purchase and/or reimbursement of Actos prescriptions.

The Actos RICO class action lawsuit allegations against Takeda and Eli Lilly include the following:

  • Concealing from the FDA that Takeda’s original partner in developing Actos, pharmaceutical company Upjohn, pulled out of the deal due to safety and toxicology issues raised in animal trials.
  • Paying “experts” to deceive the FDA regarding bladder cancer risks that had been raised in animal studies.
  • Conspiring with other experts to conceal Actos’ mechanism of action to avoid an association with similar drugs that had been linked to bladder cancer and obtain FDA approval to conduct pediatric trials—potentially worth over $2 billion in additional sales.
  • Misreporting the results of a clinical trial called the PROactive study to avoid revealing a statistically significant 2.83 times greater risk of bladder cancer in patients who took Actos.
  • Instructing sales representatives to avoid talking about Actos bladder cancer risks.
  • Destroying important documents of high level Takeda executives after being legally required to preserve them. Last year, a federal judge ruled that Takeda intentionally destroyed evidence relevant to the Actos multidistrict litigation (MDL).

About Actos

Manufactured and distributed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Actos [pioglitazone] is a prescription drug used to treat type-2 diabetes. Introduced to the North American market in 1999, Takeda made billions of dollars every year in Actos sales. In 2010 alone, Actos brought in roughly $5 billion in sales.

But even before Actos went to market, safety advocates were concerned about the drug’s link to bladder cancer. Studies had shown that Actos was not only linked to bladder cancer, but other serious side effects as well, including heart failure, blindness and bone fractures. In spite of these alarming studies, patients were not made aware of the dangers surrounding Actos—consumers were simply told that the type-2 diabetes drug was their best option to combat the dangers of diabetes.

During the Actos MDL proceedings in Louisiana, it was reported that Takeda had allegedly been aware of the link between Actos and bladder cancer since 2001, but did nothing to warn the general public about the danger. The FDA issued a safety alert in June of 2011, warning that long term Actos consumers were at an increased risk for developing bladder cancer. The FDA further advised doctors to stop filling Actos prescriptions for patients who had previously been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

The Actos bladder cancer MDL was filed before U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Doherty in the Western District of Louisiana, where last year the jury in a federal bellwether Actos bladder cancer trial ordered Takeda and Eli Lilly to pay $1.5 million to the defendant and $9 billion (later reduced to $38.6 million) in punitive damages. Takeda recently agreed to settle thousands of Actos lawsuits for $2.37 billion. Plaintiffs in the suits claim that Actos gave them bladder cancer.

Why an Actos RICO Class Action Lawsuit against Takeda and Eli Lilly?

Rather than filing individual health care fraud lawsuits against Takeda and Eli Lilly, the plaintiffs filed a lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, a federal law designed to combat organized crime.

The plaintiffs proposed an Actos RICO class action lawsuit consisting of all consumers and entities in the United States and its territories who took Actos between 1999 and the present. In addition, the plaintiffs propose five state Consumer Classes in California, Missouri, New Jersey, Florida, and Massachusetts, for consumers who paid or incurred costs of Actos in those states over the same time period.

According to the Actos RICO class action lawsuit, Takeda and Eli Lilly allegedly engaged in “a pattern of racketeering activity” that included acts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and the “use of interstate facilities to conduct unlawful activity.” Racketeering is broadly defined as a “pattern of illegal activity carried out as part of an enterprise that is owned or controlled by those engaged in the illegal activity.”

RICO violations are not just limited to organized crime syndicates—they can also focus on a corporation. Those who have been injured by a RICO violation can bring a civil suit. If they win, the parties injured as a result of a RICO violation receive treble damages (triple the amount of actual/compensatory damages). In order for a RICO claim to be successful, plaintiff(s) must demonstrate:

  • Criminal Activity. Plaintiff(s) must prove that defendant(s) have committed any of the enumerated RICO crimes, which include broad crimes like mail and wire fraud.
  • Pattern of Criminal Activity. A single crime is not enough—plaintiff(s) have to prove a pattern of at least two crimes, and the pattern is required to be either related in some way (i.e. same victim, same methods, same participant(s) or continuous, (i.e. the crime was committed for over at least a year).

Contact Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman online or by calling (855) 948-5098.

  • Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto Co. $2 Billion
  • Dewayne “Lee” Johnson v. Monsanto Co. $289.2 Million
  • Pharmaceutical Settlement $105 Million
  • Hardeman v. Monsanto Co. $80 Million
  • Paxil Pediatric Class Action $63 Million
  • Third-Party Payer Class Action $40 Million
  • Defective Drug Class Action $28 Million
  • Whistleblower Settlement $18 Million

    $18 million settlement for Boeing government overcharging on aircraft maintenance

  • A Major US Plane Crash $17.5 Million
  • Commercial Truck Accident $15 Million

    $15 million settlement for a person gravely injured by a major truck company

  • Best Law Firms 2021
    Best Law Firms 2021

    The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

  • National Trial Lawyers Top 100
    National Trial Lawyers Top 100

    The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 recognized the law firms of Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, the Miller Firm and Audet & Partners with the 2019 Trial Team of the Year award (in the Mass Torts category) for their work in the groundbreaking case of Dewayne “Lee” Johnson v. Monsanto Company.

  • Elite Trial Lawyers
    Elite Trial Lawyers

    NLJ and American Lawyer Media honor law firms and attorneys as Elite Trial Lawyers for their cutting-edge legal work on behalf of plaintiffs in practice areas ranging from mass torts to securities litigation.

  • AV Top Ranked Law Firm
    AV Top Ranked Law Firm

    Less than one-half of one percent of firms across the nation have achieved this ranking. A firm must have a high percentage of lawyers who have achieved the prestigious AV® Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.

  • Listed in Best Lawyers
    Listed in Best Lawyers

    Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. A listing in Best Lawyers is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor, conferred on a lawyer by his or her peers.

  • Verdicts Hall of Fame
    Verdicts Hall of Fame

    The National Law Journal inducted Baum Hedlund into the Verdicts Hall of Fame for obtaining the $2 billion landmark verdict in the Roundup cancer case of Pilliod et al. v. Monsanto. The verdict was #1 in California and #2 in the U.S. in 2019 and is #9 in American history.

  • AV Rated
    AV Rated

    An AV® rating reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence. The rating signifies the highest legal ability, and very high adherence to professional standards of conduct, ethics, reliability, and diligence.

  • Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers

    Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
    National Board of Trial Advocacy

    The National Board of Trial Advocacy is dedicated to bettering the quality of trial advocacy in our nation’s courtrooms and helping consumers find experienced and highly qualified trial lawyers.

  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers
    Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers

    Published annually, the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers list recognizes the “best of the best” in this area of the law through nominations, research, and review by a board of their peers.

  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States.  Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements.

  • Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
    Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers

    The Bar Register is the definitive guide to the most distinguished law firms in America. It includes only those select law practices that have earned the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and have been designated by their colleagues as preeminent in their field.


Firm Reviews

What Our Clients Are Saying
  • Top Legal Minds in the Country

    “The Baum, Hedlund firm has some of the top legal minds in the country; they are driven, determined, trustworthy, ethical and passionate.”

    - From Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms
  • I Can’t Imagine a Better Law Firm

    “Multiple lawyers recommended Baum Hedlund to me and I have been consistently impressed with the quality of their work.”

    - Best Law Firms Survey
  • Diligent & Professional Representation

    “Thanks to your efforts I was able to recover from a tragic experience and turn my life around for the best.”

    - W.T.
  • Our Best Interest Was Always Number One on Your List

    “A special thank you to your Spanish-speaking staff for the extra effort put into this case. The language barrier was never a problem, and we are so very thankful to them. Your name holds much respect in our family.”

    - G.C. & C.C
  • We Have Never Met a More Wonderful Group of People

    “It is obvious that the people at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei, & Goldman believe in what they do. And that you all really care about your clients.”

    - The B. Family

Contact Us Today

No Fees Unless We Win
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • +1
    Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please enter your city.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.