Lawsuit alleging diabetes drug caused cancer transferred to Cook County

Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Jul. 14, 2015, 9:59am


St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot filed an agreed transfer order in a lawsuit alleging a diabetes medication caused a man to develop bladder cancer, transferring the case to Cook County.

Harold Lenz filed a 79-page complaint on April 1 against Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Inc., Takeda Global Research and Development Center Inc., Takeda California Inc. and Takeda Pharmaceutical Co.

According to the complaint, Lenz complained of “negative and detrimental effects” to his “bladder and urinary system gradually over time and duration."

The lawsuit states that this should prove Pioglitazon was “defectively designed, inadequately tested, dangerous to human health and lacked proper warnings as to the dangers associated with its use.”

Lenz claims he suffered from bladder cancer, loss of appetite, weight loss, blood in his urine, back and abdominal pain, frequent urination with pain, bowel difficulties and other severe and personal injuries that he considers permanent.

The defendants filed a motion to transfer the case on May 1 based on improper venue. They argue that the plaintiff is a citizen of Georgia “with absolutely no connection to the State of Illinois, let alone St. Clair County.”

“Here, none of the events relevant to plaintiff’s claims allegedly occurred in St. Clair County, Illinois. Indeed, all facts allegedly giving rise to plaintiff’s claims occurred in Georgia,” the motion states.

The defendants seek to transfer the case to either Lake County, where they have business offices, or Cook County, where they their registered agents are located.

Lopinot filed his agreed transfer order that same day, granting transfer to Cook County.

Lenz seeks in excess of $50,000, plus costs.

The plaintiff is represented by John J. Driscoll of The Driscoll Firm in St. Louis.

John E. Galvin, Jonathan H. Garside and Margaret D. Gentzen of Fox Galvin in St. Louis represents the defendants.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-188

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