U.S. judge tosses $140 mln verdict against AbbVie in AndroGel case

by Reuters
Thursday, 5 July 2018 18:10 GMT

(Adds details on ruling, background on case)

By Nate Raymond

July 5 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday overturned a $140.1 million verdict against AbbVie Inc in a lawsuit by a man who claimed the company misrepresented the risks of its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel, causing him to suffer a heart attack.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in Chicago ordered a retrial in the lawsuit brought by Tennessee resident Jeffrey Konrad, whose case is one of thousands AbbVie faces nationally over injuries blamed on AndroGel.

Jurors had in October awarded Konrad $140,000 in compensatory damages and $140 million in punitive damages after finding that AbbVie was negligent and made misrepresentations related to AndroGel that helped cause his 2010 heart attack.

But Kennelly said the jury's finding on the negligence claim was inconsistent with its decision to find AbbVie not liable on another claim as both involved determining if AndroGel was unreasonably dangerous and caused his heart attack.

"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.

AbbVie did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A lawyer for Konrad also did not respond to a request for comment.

AbbVie says it faces 4,500 cases nationally over injuries blamed on AndroGel. The verdict came in one of a series of test trials in federal litigation over AndroGel aimed at helping both sides gauge the range of damages and define settlement options. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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