Since filing the first Cook County Actos case against Takeda Pharmaceutical, the attorneys at TorHoerman Law, in cooperation with other leading law firms, have been working diligently to coordinate the Illinois litigation against Takeda Pharmaceutical, the manufacturer of Actos, a Japanese Corporation that has its U.S. headquarters in Illinois.
Actos, a popular medication used to control Type 2 diabetes is linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer and the number of lawsuits as a result are likely to be in the thousands.
Recently, the Illinois Supreme Court approved an Order under Illinois Supreme Court Rule 384 to transfer and consolidate all Illinois Actos cases to the court of Judge Deborah Dooling in Cook County. Given the complexity and anticipated resource demands that this emerging "mass tort" (multiple plaintiffs injured in a similar fashion by a defective product) case will require, the consolidation of these cases are intended to allow the litigation to move forward in an organized and timely manner.
The selection of Cook County and Judge Dooling should prove to be fair to both sides of the litigation. Our experience with Judge Dooling is that Judge Dooling is thoughtful and will push cases toward trial as expeditiously as can occur. Judge Dooling has gained experience with handling these types of consolidated cases through her work in Gadolinium litigation and now Depuy ASR litigation.
It is our view that Cook County provides the best opportunity for a successful resolution of our client’s cases, regardless of their state of residence. We plan to file all of our cases in Illinois and take the battle to Takeda in Cook County.
Nonetheless, some of the pending Actos cases will be filed and handled in federal court under a federal consolidation called a multidistrict litigation (or "MDL"). The MDL procedure is utilized in the federal court system to transfer to one federal judge all pending civil cases of a similar type filed throughout the United States.
On December 29, 2011, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established an MDL for all federal claims alleging injury caused by Actos. The MDL was assigned to Judge Rebecca F. Doherty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. In a letter to counsel involved in the Actos MDL, Judge Doherty announced that the first status conference would likely occur on March 22, 2012.
Attorneys and clients face a decision on where best to pursue their cases against Takeda – Illinois State Court in Cook County or Federal Court in the Western District of Louisiana.
The attorneys at TorHoerman Law look forward to fighting a fair and effective battle on behalf of our clients in Cook County and in front of Judge Dooling. We will continue to file status updates as the litigation progresses. If you have any questions about Actos litigation, or wish to learn more about the Cook County consolidated dockets, please call Tor Hoerman or Eric Terry directly.