ALTON, Ill. – Simmons Hanly Conroy, one of the nation’s largest mass tort firms representing consumers, is pleased to announce a Chicago jury has hit AbbVie with a $150 million verdict for misrepresenting the dangerous risks of its popular testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) drug, AndroGel, to consumers.
The jury found the pharmaceutical company fraudulently marketed AndroGel by making up a medical condition called “Low T,” and marketing the product directly to men experiencing normal symptoms of aging such as low libido, weight gain and mood swings. The verdict was announced Monday and is the first TRT case to reach a verdict in the multidistrict litigation, In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation.
Simmons Hanly Conroy Shareholder Trent Miracle, who serves as Co-Lead for the Plaintiff’s Executive Committee for the TRT MDL, called the verdict a good result, not only for plaintiff Jesse Mitchell, but for the 6,000 pending cases in the MDL filed by men who suffered serious injuries, such as heart attacks and strokes, after taking TRT products.
“The jury awarded the entire amount in punitive damages, which sends a clear message to pharmaceutical companies that they cannot make up a medical condition and then aggressively market their drug as an off-label cure to consumers,” Miracle said. “Doing so puts consumers at unnecessary risk.”
Mitchell claimed AndroGel caused his heart attack, which resulted in lasting damage. In February 2014, Simmons Hanly Conroy filed the first TRT lawsuits on behalf of five men who experienced a heart attack, stroke or mini-stroke after they started using AndroGel. Within days of filing, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration launched an investigation into the risks of TRT drugs and, later, issued a safety announcement about the increased risks associated with TRT treatments.
“Testosterone replacement therapy treatments like AndroGel have been heavily marketed to consumers without regard for the possible risks they could cause,” Miracle said. “These men looked to testosterone treatments to help them maintain their quality of life and instead were seriously injured.”
The trial began July 5 and was heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois before Judge Matthew Kennelly. The jury deliberated 4 hours before rendering its verdict. This is the second bellwether trial in the litigation. The first trial ended in a mistrial after the lead attorney fell ill and will be re-tried in September.
The case is Mitchell et al. v. AbbVie Inc. et al., case number 1:14-cv-09178 and the MDL is In re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, case number 1:14-cv-01748