Pharmaceutical company Takeda recently agreed to a multi-billion-dollar settlement for Actos claims.

After years of legal maneuvering, Japanese drug company Takeda Pharmaceuticals has agreed to pay nearly $2.4 billion to settle product liability claims related to diabetes medication Actos. There are an estimated 9,000 cases currently pending against Takeda in state and federal courts in Illinois, West Virginia, Louisiana, California and Pennsylvania, all alleging that the company knew that Actos greatly increased the chances that patients taking the drug would develop bladder cancer, but continued to sell it anyway.

In proffering this settlement, Takeda has denied any liability regarding a link between Actos and an increased risk of bladder cancer or the development of other chronic health conditions. The company maintains that the drug is safe for patients and can be a vital part of managing Type 2 diabetes. Parameters set forth in the settlement documents state that it will move forward if 95 percent of current claimants accept its terms, and that the amount of funds will increase by $300 million if 97 percent of plaintiffs will agree to settle their personal suits.

According to legal analysts, this settlement is a smart financial move for the company, since it essentially limits their continued exposure for future claims related to Actos and allows them to continue selling the drug for a profit. It may prove less helpful for plaintiffs, as they will be limited in the amount of damages they can receive regardless of the severity of their injuries or the losses that surviving family members are dealing with following the death of their loved ones.

Under the settlement, each plaintiff would receive just under $300,000, the total of which could be decreased by factors such as the patient's age, medical history, whether or not he or she smoked and past exposure to toxins. Contrast this with previous jury verdicts, one of which awarded $9 million in damages to a single Louisiana plaintiff. For that reason alone, some plaintiffs may be unwilling to participate in the settlement agreement and may choose to move forward with individual lawsuits, though it is unlikely that Takeda would back out of the settlement even if the full 95 percent of plaintiffs don't join.

The settlement comes at a time when Takeda will now face generic-brand competition in the form of a diabetes drug distributed by Ranbaxy Laboratories, Ltd.

Regardless of the motivation behind it, however, this settlement proposal could allow thousands of victims who took Actos to manage their Type 2 diabetes (particularly after serious health risks were connected to the once-popular diabetes medication Avandia) and developed potentially fatal bladder cancer to get on with their lives. If you have been hurt by Actos - or another defective drug - and want to learn more about bringing a legal claim, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. Speak with a lawyer at the New York law offices of Smiley and Smiley, LLP, for more information.

Keywords: Actos litigation, lawsuit, liability, defective drug, defective product, products liability, personal injury, bladder cancer