Actavis Inc. is asking an Illinois federal judge to end its jury trial and give it a win in a suit alleging its testosterone replacement drugs caused a man’s heart attack, saying the man has failed to make his case and no reasonable jury would find the company responsible.
Actavis said Brad Martin’s claims fail as a matter of law, because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t found a significant risk of cardiovascular effects from Androderm, and even his own expert said Martin’s various medical conditions could have caused his heart attack.
Martin says he used Androderm patches between October 2012 and May 2013 and claims the pharmaceutical giant is to blame for a heart attack he suffered in May 2013. Martin is suing Actavis for strict liability for failure to warn, negligence and fraudulent misrepresentation, and he seeks punitive damages and compensatory damages for medical expenses, physical pain, disability and emotional distress. His wife joined him in the complaint.
Actavis pointed to Martin’s admission that on the morning of his heart attack, he took medicine that had a much stronger warning about heart attacks than the warnings on Androderm, and his pattern of ignoring other warnings, such as an incident where he was advised by doctors to go to an emergency room “within the hour” but waited until the next day. They also argued that Martin’s expert conceded that the other cardiac risk factors Martin had — which included hypertension, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, a history of smoking and a family history of cardiovascular disease — made the likelihood of a heart attack greater and could have been the cause.
Martin’s trial was set to be the first bellwether trial against Actavis in multidistrict litigation over cardiovascular problems allegedly caused by its TRT drug before the company reached a settlement in the multi-defendant MDL in 2018. Martin opted out of that deal.