The verdict in the case of plaintiff Jesse Mitchell came after a more than two-week-long trial and resulted in an award of $200,000 in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages.
It was the second time a jury deliberated on whether AndroGel caused Mitchell’s heart attack. The first trial ended last summer with a jury finding AndroGel was not the cause of Mitchell’s heart attack and thus no compensatory damages were awarded. But the jury found AbbVie negligent in its marketing of the drug, and handed down $150 million in punitive damages.
U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly ultimately vacated the first verdict and ordered a new trial after concluding that jurors were likely confused about how causation fit into each of Mitchell’s claims.
Mitchell’s case is one of thousands charging AbbVie and other manufacturers of testosterone replacement therapies of promoting their products as fountains of youth for older men while failing to warn that use of the drugs could increase the risk for heart attacks, strokes and blood clots.
Mitchell also charged AbbVie with aggressively promoting AndroGel for the off-label use of a made-up condition – Low T – luring men to buy the products to boost sales of the male hormone from a $50 million market in 2000 to a $1 billion market in 2010. Testosterone treatments are only intended for men who have low testosterone due to injury, defect or disease.