The same judge who previously overturned a $150 million AndroGel verdict has reversed a second verdict in the litigation worth over $140 million.
The case was brought by Tennessee resident Jeffrey Konrad. Konrad alleges that his two-month period of using AbbVie’s AndroGel testosterone replacement product caused him to have a heart attack in 2010. A Chicago jury agreed and awarded him $140,000 in compensatory damages and $140 million punitively in response to what it believed was AbbVie’s negligence and misrepresentation of AndroGel’s safety.
However, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly took issue with the way the jury reached its decision. He said that the ruling on the negligence claim was inconsistent with having found AbbVie not liable on another claim related to the matter. Since both claims ultimately involved a determination of whether AndroGel had been the cause of Konrad’s heart attack, “both of them have to go.”
The decision, like the $150 million Mitchell decision, will undoubtedly result in a retrial. In Mitchell’s case, the retrial led to a formal finding of negligence for AbbVie and an award of $3.2 million for Mitchell.
AbbVie is currently facing thousands of lawsuits over injuries caused by its AndroGel testosterone replacement product. Some 4,500 plaintiffs have brought claims against AbbVie and assert that the corporation failed to properly warn them of the risks of cardiovascular events like blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks. Those cases were consolidated, and the Mitchell and Konrad trials were among a number of cases chosen to serve as bellwethers to set the direction for settlement negotiations for the remaining cases. AbbVie had previously won two such cases and lost the Mitchell case. While neither side has issued a public statement in the Konrad matter, the outcome for thousands may hang in the balance.