A West Virginia man seeking to have his Actos lawsuit heard in state court was granted his request in November when a federal judge remanded the case to Harrison County Circuit Court.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley was made at a Nov. 20 hearing after she determined the plaintiff did not add its in-state defendant, Patterson’s Drug Store, fraudulently in his lawsuit against Actos manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

Judge Keeley’s decision was met with resistance by Takeda, who motioned last September to have the Actos lawsuit, brought by plaintiff Richard Myers who allegedly developed bladder cancer as a result of taking the diabetes drug, heard in federal court.

In its claims, the company said Patterson’s Drug Store was added fraudulently, since West Virginia state law protected pharmacies from being held responsible for the quality of manufacturer-provided medication.

Myers’ counsel was prepared to defend its claims, though. They said that since state courts leave pharmacy liability decisions up to the finders of fact, Patterson’s may be found liable for failing to warn consumers of the side effects associated with drug.

For Actos users, a string of recent studies has said the medication may put users at an increased risk for developing bladder cancer. Myers and his team added Patterson’s Drug Store as an in-state defendant in the Actos lawsuit on the grounds that pharmacies can be held liable for failing to warn users of this potentially life-threatening side effect of Actos.

Myers’ attorneys filed nine failure-to-warn claims against Patterson’s Drug Store in their complaint.

In Judge Keeley’s motion to remand, court documents say, “Patterson’s is not included in Plaintiff’s allegations regarding the design and manufacturing of Actos. The Plaintiff has not alleged that Patterson’s is responsible for the drug’s quality.”

Richard Myers originally filed his Actos lawsuit Aug. 18 in Harrison County Circuit Court, which Takeda moved to federal court the following month. The plantiff filed its motion to have the case sent back to state court on Sept. 28.

Published December 17, 2012 by