An Illinois circuit judge overseeing the Actos bladder cancer claims in that state will hold a case management hearing on April 24 to review the status of the lawsuits.
Judge Deborah Dooling, a judge in the Illinois Circuit Court of Cook County law division, scheduled the conference presumably to get a status update on the Actos cases. Not all of the 152 Actos cases that have been filed in the Cook County circuit court will be represented during the conference.
Even though this is a small move in the cases, it represents another step forward in a litigation that has snowballed and captured the attention of pharmaceutical companies, legal analysts and medical experts. At issue here is the type 2 diabetes drug Actos and its maker Takeda Pharmaceuticals.
Actos Linked To Multiple Severe Side Effects
The drug’s link to bladder cancer, congestive heart failure and gallbladder disease has caused an uproar in the diabetes community. After years of taking the drug, many patients have been diagnosed with life-changing diseases.
Even though Takeda continues deny the claims that Actos is linked to the diseases, multiple ongoing studies have pointed to the contrary.
Many Actos victims are outraged that the company knew about the drug’s risks even before it was marketed, yet continued with the sales. The drug has been removed from pharmacies in France and German. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not been so quick to react. Researchers there are still reviewing medical data.
The cases in Illinois have been consolidated into a mass tort. This allows attorneys to pool their resources, information and ideas to ensure all members of the complaints get fair compensation.
An Experienced Judge Overseeing Actos Lawsuits
For Dooling, this is one of the many high-profile product liability cases she has handled.
Admitted to the Illinois bar in 1978 and an assistant state’s attorney for 12 years, Dooling has been sitting on the circuit court since 1992. As a law division judge, Dooling presides over a jury room, hears pretrial conferences and jury and bench trials, among other things. She also presides over medical malpractice, personal injury and product liability cases.
Dooling is known as a thoughtful judge who will be fair to both sides. Those who know her say she will push the case toward trial or mediation if deemed appropriate.
The cases in Illinois are just a small sampling of the multitude of cases nationwide. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of cases consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in a Louisiana federal court. Likewise, more cases are pending in a California state court.