On Monday, April 7, 2014, a Lafayette, Louisiana federal jury rendered a $9 billion punitive damage verdict against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd and Eli Lilly & Co. in a bellwether trial over whether the companies hid the cancer risks of the diabetes drug Actos in order to keep sales up and profits high to the detriment of its users who were betrayed and who relied on these multinational corporate giants to manufacture and sell safe drugs. The $9 billion verdict included $6 billion in punitive damages against Takeda and $3 billion in punitive damages against Eli Lilly. The same jury had earlier rendered a verdict for $1.5 million in compensatory damages for the named plaintiff who had been harmed by the defective drug. This jury had the courage to do what was necessary to protect everyone from harm and spoke loudly that such actions by giant multinational corporations will not be tolerated in the United States.
Outstanding trial counsel for the plaintiff inlcuded nationally recognized lawyers, Richard J. Arsenault of Neblett Beard & Arsenault, Paul J. Pennock of Weitz & Luxenberg PC and W. Mark Lanier of the Lanier Law Firm.