Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie have lost out in the retrial of an AndroGel lawsuit. The manufacturers were hit with a $3.2 million jury award, including $3 million in punitive damages.
By Laurence Banville
An Illinois federal jury has ordered Abbott Laboratories and pharmaceutical manufacturer AbbVie to pay $3.2 million to an Oregon man who claims to have suffered a heart attack after using the companies' low testosterone treatment, AndroGel, for four years.
AndroGel Lawsuit Retrial Returns Plaintiff VictoryThe judgment, announced on Monday, March 26, 2018, brings to a close the retrial in the case of Jesse Mitchell, who was ordered $150 million in punitive damages last July.
It was the first decision to hit the AndroGel Multi-District Litigation, but Judge Matthew Kennelly reversed it over the absence of compensatory damages. In this first verdict, observers noted, it seemed as though the jury had ruled that AbbVie owed Mitchell no compensation for his injuries, but should be punished anyway.
Jury Awards $3.2M In Compensatory, Punitive DamagesThe judgment of March 26 is more in keeping with tradition - and traditional logic. The second Illinois jury awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages, along with $3 million in punitive damages, sending a "strong and damning message for AbbVie," according to Trent Miracle, one of Mitchell's attorneys.
"It's impossible to view the evidence and listen to the testimony in these cases," Miracle told the National Law Journal, "and not come to the conclusion that AbbVie put their corporate and financial interest ahead of the health and well-being of the men duped into using their product." "Duped," in this context, is a carefully chosen word.
In their lawsuits, plaintiffs accuse some of the world's largest drug manufacturers of creating a fictitious medical condition, dubbed "Low T," with non-specific symptoms to induce millions of men around the globe into paying for high-priced treatments based in the sex hormone testosterone. Now that medical studies have linked testosterone replacement therapies to various cardiovascular complications, including stroke, heart attack and blood clots, men are turning to the civil court system in droves.
Over 6,000 Low T Claims Pending In Illinois MDLWith the retrial of Mitchell's case, four verdicts have now been rendered by federal juries in the Multi-District Litigation surrounding AbbVie's controversial testosterone supplement AndroGel. Three have resulted in verdicts against AbbVie, including a separate judgment amounting to $140 million.
More than 6,000 testosterone lawsuits are still consolidated in the US District Court of Illinois, where claims against multiple drug manufacturers have been centralized. At one time, the litigation included an astounding 25,000 product liability claims. Large global settlements brokered by Eli Lilly, the company behind Axiron, and GlaxoSmithKline and Endo International, co-promoters of Testim, have whittled the MDL down.