Chicago Judge overturns $140 million AbbVie AndroGel verdict


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A US Judge has overturned a $140.1 million verdict against the New York-listed AbbVie Inc.

The verdict, which ruled in favour of a man who claimed the biopharmaceutical firm had misrepresented the risks of its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel, was overturned by US District Judge Matthew Kennelly in Chicago on Thursday.

Tennessee resident Jeffrey Konrad, who suffered a heart attack in 2010, claimed that the dangers of AbbVie’s AndroGel had been misrepresented by the company. The Chicago-based drug maker is facing 4,500 cases across the country in which patients claim that the company did not adequately warn of the risks of heart attacks, strokes and blood clots associated with the testosterone gel.

The plaintiff was awarded $140,000 in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages after it was found that AbbVie was negligent and had made misleading claims. However Judge Kennelly said that the jury’s claim was inconsistent with another case.

“When this happens, the court cannot accept one of the two inconsistent verdicts while discarding the other; both of them have to go,” Kennelly wrote.

The Judge’s ruling marks the second time in which he has ordered a retrial in one of the AndroGel cases. In December Kennelly overturned a verdict in which jurors awarded an Oregon man Jesse Mitchell $150 million in punitive damages but no compensatory damages. Mitchell’s case was later retried and AbbVie was ordered to pay $3.2 million.     

Louis Goss