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  • Kirk Hartley

Cancer Subrogation Claims – Health Insurer Hires Plaintiff’s Firm to Sue Takeda and Eli

Subrogation claims and liens of various kinds continue to assert a growing influence on mass tort litigation. In a new example, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts hired Thornton & Naumes to file subrogation lawsuits against Takeda and Eli Lilly entities to recover expenses arising from the bladder cancers developed by 32 BSBS policyholders after taking Actos for diabetes.  A complaint is online.

BCBS filed its claims in Louisiana in the multidistrict litigation over the drug Actos. The lawsuits follow Takeda being hit in the MDL with a $9 billion verdict, and a federal judge imposed sanctions against Takeda for destruction of digital files of key executives. 

A take away? Asbestos and other mass tort defendants need to recognize subrogation claims and medical expense liens as additional drivers of litigation and expense. It appears BCBS and other health insurers have decided to ignore the US Chamber of Commerce’s memes regarding the evils of lawsuits, at least when the BCBS plans may recover money. See here regarding Aetna and Garlock, and see here regarding the HK Porter Trust and potential claims by various insurers.

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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