Eli Lilly and Co, Takeda's co-defendant in the case, was ordered
to pay $3 billion in punitive damages.
"We intend to vigorously challenge this outcome through all
available legal means, including possible post-trial motions and an
appeal," Kenneth Greisman, general counsel of Takeda Pharmaceutical
USA Inc, said in a statement.
Takeda's shares fell as much as 8.8 percent to an eight-month low in
Tokyo trading on Tuesday after the verdict. The stock ended 5.2
percent lower at 4,572 yen.
The massive award was met with "stunned silence" in the packed
Lafayette, Louisiana, courtroom, plaintiffs' lawyer Mark Lanier
Lanier acknowledged it was not certain whether the damages award
would be sustained as the legal process continued.
"Nobody has gone out and bought a new home," he told Reuters.
"This is a conservative judge and a conservative court and she's
very 'balls and strikes'. We're not under any grand illusion."
He added that the judge wanted post-verdict motions filed quickly
but had set no precise schedule.
The $9 billion in punitive damages awarded by the jury against
Takeda and Eli Lilly exceed the $5 billion penalty that a jury in
Alaska imposed on Exxon Mobil Corp for the Exxon Valdez oil spill in
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the previous Exxon Valdez
award had been "excessive". The company was ultimately ordered to
pay $500 million. That and other rulings have been read as limiting
punitive damages in federal cases.
Punitive damages are meant to discourage other companies from bad
conduct. Compensatory damages are meant to pay victims for their
[to top of second column]
In the latest Actos case, the jury also ordered the payment of
$1.475 million in compensatory damages in the suit.
Lanier said the jury deliberated for only an hour and 10 minutes to
deliver its verdict finding liability on all 14 questions, and
another 45 minutes to come out with the multibillion dollar punitive
Takeda said judgments were entered in Takeda's favor in all three
previous Actos trials, while this was the first federal case to be
tried as well as the first of a consolidated multidistrict
Last May, a U.S. judge had nullified a separate jury verdict for
$6.5 million against Takeda after ruling that the plaintiffs failed
to offer any reliable evidence that Actos had caused cancer.
Germany and France suspended use of the drug, a multibillion dollar
seller, in 2011 due to worries about a possible link to cancer.
The case before the U.S. District Court, Western District Louisiana,
is In Re: Actos Products Liability Litigation Case No. 6:11-md-2299.
(Additional reporting by Ritsuko Shimizu in Tokyo;
editing by Kevin Krolicki, Stephen Coates and Ryan Woo)
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