Actos Ruling Sets Up Appellate Clash Over Punitives Ceiling

By Sindhu Sundar (October 28, 2014, 8:24 PM EDT) -- A Louisiana federal judge's ruling slashing a $9 billion Actos bladder cancer award to $37 million highlights an ambiguity on upper limits for punitive damages that attorneys say will spur the Fifth Circuit — and maybe even the U.S. Supreme Court — to address the issue more directly.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Doherty's nuanced review of appeals courts precedents on punitive damage awards was written with appeals courts judges in mind, attorneys say, pointing to the near-certainty that her ruling will wind up before the Fifth Circuit. Plaintiffs Terrence and Susan Allen may challenge her conclusions that spared drugmakers Takeda Pharmaceutical...

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