U.S. jury orders AbbVie to pay $3 million in AndroGel retrial

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. jury on Monday ordered AbbVie Inc to pay more than $3 million to a man who claimed the company misrepresented the risks of its testosterone replacement drug AndroGel, causing him to suffer a heart attack, though the jury did not find AbbVie strictly liable.

FILE PHOTO: A screen displays the share price for pharmaceutical maker AbbVie on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 18, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The verdict in federal court in Chicago came down in the second trial over claims by Oregon resident Jesse Mitchell after U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly in December tossed a previous $150 million jury verdict for being “logically incompatible.”

It is the second verdict against AbbVie in the consolidated litigation over testosterone replacement products by the Chicago-based company and other drugmakers. More than 6,000 similar lawsuits have been filed, the bulk of them against AbbVie.

In a separate trial, a federal jury in January found AbbVie not liable in a lawsuit by an Arizona man who claimed he had suffered a pulmonary embolism as a result of using AndroGel.

According to court filings, the jury on Monday concluded that AbbVie had not falsely marketed the drug and was not strictly liable, but found that the company acted negligently.

It awarded Mitchell $200,000 in compensatory damages and $3 million in punitive damages.

AbbVie in a statement said it was disappointed with the verdict and intends to appeal.

Lawyers for Mitchell did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the verdict.

Mitchell suffered a heart attack in 2012 after almost five years of treatment with AndroGel, but recovered after several months, according to his lawsuit.

In the first AndroGel decision against AbbVie, a jury in October ordered the company to pay more than $140 million to a Tennessee man who claimed the drug caused him to suffer a heart attack. AbbVie has asked Kennelly to throw out that verdict over inconsistencies during the trial.

Other pharmaceutical companies are facing similar lawsuits over their testosterone replacement therapies.

But Eli Lilly and Co, Endo International and GlaxoSmithKline have told Kennelly in recent months that they have tentatively agreed to settle hundreds of lawsuits against them. The terms of those settlements were not disclosed.

More than 4,000 cases are still pending against AbbVie.

Reporting by Tina Bellon; Editing by Leslie Adler