A federal jury in Chicago on Monday found AbbVie Inc fraudulently misrepresented the risks of its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel and ordered the drugmaker to pay $150 million in punitive damages.
The verdict, which came in response to a lawsuit Jesse Mitchell and his wife filed in 2014, is the first in response to over 6,000 pending lawsuits that have been consolidated in federal court in Chicago.
The decision in the Mitchell case is the first in a series of test trials aimed at helping plaintiffs and manufacturers of AndroGel gauge the range of damages and define a legal strategy and settlement options. These so-called bellwether trials are often used in product liability where hundreds of people have similar claims.
The jury said AbbVie was not negligent or strictly liable for a heart attack Mitchell suffered after taking AndroGel, but said the company falsely marketed the drug.