In the first trial verdict of thousands of similar suits, a federal jury ordered AbbVie to pay $150 million to a man who blamed inadequate labeling of its testosterone drug AndroGel for his heart attack.
The plaintiff, Jesse Mitchell, held AbbVie responsible for his 2012 heart attack after taking the drug for four years, claiming the company misrepresented safety risks. The jury awarded him punitive damages — but found in favor of the drugmaker over allegations of negligence and that its products lacked sufficient warnings.
Mitchell argued the company marketed the drug without regard for dangerous side effects and despite the existence of safer methods of treating conditions it claimed are caused by low testosterone, such as loss of energy, depression, erectile dysfunction and muscle mass. He argued the company knew or should have known the drug’s risk included strokes and cardiovascular disease, but failed to make customers aware of the risks.
AbbVie argued the heart attack was the product of other risk factors, such as Mitchell’s history of smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.