On October 5th, 2017, Seeger Weiss partner Dave Buchanan won a second bellwether trial against AbbVie Inc., securing a verdict of more than $140 million for Jeffrey Konrad, a Tennessee man who suffered a heart attack following his use of AndroGel, a testosterone replacement therapy drug manufactured by AbbVie Inc.
Mr. Buchanan also co-tried the first bellwether in the multidistrict litigation, securing a $150 million verdict on behalf of another client against the pharmaceutical giant.
On Thursday, a federal jury in Chicago found that the pharmaceutical giant AbbVie committed fraud in its marketing and promotion of the drug to Mr. Konrad, and men like him, awarding $140 million in punitive damages and $140,000 in compensatory damages. Seeger Weiss partner Dave Buchanan, lead trial counsel in the case, stated, “AbbVie’s insidious and widespread marketing campaign penetrated so deeply that patients like Mr. Konrad sought AndroGel for treatment of symptoms and conditions that the drug had never been proven safe or effective to treat. At the same time, serious safety concerns were suppressed and ignored to facilitate AbbVie’s ever-escalating sales targets. Today, the jury sent a loud message to AbbVie. Drugs aren’t commodities, and neither are patients. Patients have the right to full information in making decisions about the drugs they consider using.”
The verdict is the latest bellwether case to go to trial in In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation (no. 1:14-cv-01748), a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) of thousands of plaintiffs against AbbVie over AndroGel and other testosterone gel products. The cases are centralized before Judge Matthew Kennelly in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. It comes on the heels of a similar verdict on July 24, in which Oregon plaintiff Jesse Mitchell was awarded $150 million in punitive damages following a heart attack. Mr. Konrad filed his lawsuit in 2015, having suffered the heart attack in 2010.
“We are pleased with the jury’s decision today to deliver justice for Mr. Konrad. Like so many others, Mr. Konrad suffered a heart attack as a result of AbbVie’s fraudulent conduct. The consequences of those acts are serious and real—facts that weren’t lost on this jury. We hope today’s verdict sends a clear message to AbbVie and to others who may engage in similar practices,” said Chris Seeger, co-lead counsel in the MDL.
Mr. Konrad was represented by David Buchanan of Seeger Weiss, lead trial counsel, Troy Rafferty of the Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A. firm, Bill Robins of the law firm of Robins Cloud, and Matt Teague of the Beasley Allen firm. The case is Konrad v. AbbVie Inc., case number 1:15-cv-00966, and the MDL is In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:14-cv-01748, both in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The Seeger Weiss trial team also included Asa Danes, Erica Kubly, Parvin Aminolroaya and David Tawil.
Read the full press release here.