Accutane users and their families filed more than 7,000 lawsuits against Hoffmann-LaRoche. A judge dismissed the majority of Accutane lawsuits in 2014. Jury verdicts against the manufacturer were overturned. In 2017, an appellate court reinstated more than 2,000 Accutane lawsuits. The New Jersey Supreme Court in 2018 was considering whether the lawsuits should move forward.
* UPDATE: In 2018, a state Supreme Court was considering whether to allow 2,000 Accutane lawsuits to move forward. Drugwatch’s legal partners are not currently accepting Accutane cases.
People who took Accutane (isotretinoin) suffered severe side effects. These side effects included depression, suicide, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
Thousands of these patients and their loved ones sued Hoffman-LaRoche. They claimed the drugmaker did not warn them about the dangers of Accutane.
Judges dismissed the majority of Accutane lawsuits. Jury verdicts in favor of Accutane users were overturned.
But, in 2017, an appellate court reinstated more than 2,000 lawsuits filed in state court in New Jersey. The state Supreme Court in 2018 was considering whether these cases should proceed.
There have been no known large-scale settlements for patients injured by Accutane. Drugwatch’s legal partners are not taking Accutane cases now. But that could change in the future.
Accutane lawsuits were previously consolidated in Florida federal court. These cases wrapped up years ago in favor of Hoffman-LaRoche. This effectively put an end to federal Accutane lawsuits against the manufacturer.
More than 7,000 patients and family members filed Accutane lawsuits. Judges consolidated many of the federal cases into a multidistrict litigation in the Middle District of Florida.
Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a way for federal courts to organize large numbers of similar lawsuits.
U.S. District Judge James Moody ultimately dismissed all the federal Accutane cases. Moody ruled that the warning label on Accutane was adequate.
A New Jersey state court organized thousands of cases filed in the state. The court grouped the cases under a different type of litigation known as multicounty litigation (MCL).
Juries ordered Hoffman-LaRoche to pay millions to patients. But, judges overturned those verdicts.
The New Jersey MCL judge dismissed more than 2,000 Accutane lawsuits. An appellate court reinstated those cases in 2017.
Hoffman-LaRoche appealed the reinstatements. The state Supreme Court agreed to consider the drug company’s appeals.
The majority of Accutane lawsuits claimed the drug caused inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
IBD is a condition that involves chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. IBD usually manifests in one of two diseases: ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. IBD is a permanent condition.
Some people who sued Hoffman-LaRoche blamed Accutane for psychosis, depression and suicide. Others alleged the drug caused birth defects.
Accutane lawsuits said the drug is “defective.” The lawsuits also claimed the drug is “dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold in commerce.”
They said Accutane “lacked proper warnings as to the dangers associated with its use.” Lawsuits claimed Hoffmann-LaRoche had knowledge of a link between gastrointestinal symptoms and Accutane.
Before the FDA approved Accutane in 1982, it raised concerns about these issues. Despite this, Hoffmann-LaRoche did not include any warnings about the risk of IBD.
Hoffmann-LaRoche reportedly settled some individual cases before they went to trial. But, there are no publicized reports of any large-scale settlements.
Hoffmann-LaRoche took Accutane off the market in 2009. It successfully fended off thousands of lawsuits.
The lawsuits alleged the company had endangered patients by marketing a harmful product.
Hoffmann-LaRoche argued people who filed lawsuits could not prove Accutane injured them.
The manufacturer claimed there were no scientific studies linking Accutane to IBD or suicide.
The manufacturer maintained they had given ample warning to patients about the potential side effects of Accutane.
Juries ordered Hoffmann-LaRoche to pay more than $53 million to Accutane patients. This total comes from several large judgments.
But, the company appealed the verdicts. Judges ruled in favor of Hoffmann-LaRoche in the majority of the cases.
To date, there have been no known class action lawsuits involving Accutane. People filed individual lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer.
A court in Florida managed the federal Accutane lawsuits. The lawsuits were part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL).
State Accutane lawsuits in New Jersey were managed under a multicounty litigation (MCL).
Courts use MDLs and MCLs to move lawsuits through the legal process with more efficiency.
Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
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