An Illinois federal judge has ordered a retrial of the second bellwether in a multidistrict litigation alleging testosterone replacement therapy makers failed to warn about cardiovascular risks with their products.
In October, plaintiff Jeffrey Konrad was awarded $140,000 in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages after he blamed AbbVie’s AndroGel for causing his heart attack. But U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly found that the jury’s finding of strict liability clashed with Konrad’s negligence claim.
At issue is the instructions given to the jury for strict liability and negligence claims, both of which required the jury to find that AndroGel was “unreasonably dangerous,” Judge Kennelly said.
“The verdicts on these claims are inconsistent under the instructions given to the jury. When this happens, the court cannot accept one of the two inconsistent verdicts while discarding the other. Both of them have to go,” Judge Kennelly wrote.
This is the second time Judge Kennelly tossed a multi-million-dollar verdict in the testosterone multidistrict litigation for inconsistency. In July 2017, a jury awarded Jesse Mitchell no compensatory damages but did slap AbbVie with $150 in punitive damages after finding the drug company was not guilty of strict liability and negligence, but was guilty of fraudulent misrepresentaion in the way it marketed its testosterone replacement therapy.
In December, Judge Kennelly threw out the $150 million award and ordered a retrial after finding the ruling “logically incomparable” with the jury’s other findings.
Mitchell’s case was retried in March, and this time the jury awarded him just more than $3 million.