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Taxotere Lawsuits

Taxotere lawsuits claim the chemotherapy drug can cause permanent hair loss and eye damage, including vision loss. There are nearly 12,000 Taxotere lawsuits pending in Louisiana federal court as of March 2022. Litigation is ongoing and no settlements have been announced.

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Suffering serious eye damage after taking Taxotere?

If you or a loved one has suffered serious eye damage after taking Taxotere, you may be entitled to compensation.

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Last Modified: March 24, 2022
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Why Are People Filing Taxotere Lawsuits?

People are currently filing Taxotere lawsuits because they suffered permanent eye damage, and studies have linked these injuries to Taxotere (docetaxel). Drug manufacturer Sanofi-Adventis failed to warn doctors and patients that Taxotere could cause permanent damage despite knowing about the risk for years, according to lawsuits.

Some patients who received Taxotere may suffer permanent damage to the lacrimal system in the eye. The lacrimal system is responsible for producing and properly draining tears that help keep eyes healthy. Lacrimal system damage can block tear ducts and cause excessive tearing which leads to vision problems.

Similarly, another group of lawsuits claims Sanofi failed to warn patients that hair loss from Taxotere may be permanent.

Taxotere Vision Damage Lawsuits

diagram of lacrimal system of the eye

Studies show Taxotere may damage the lacrimal system and cause excessive tearing, a condition called epiphora.

Taxotere vision damage lawsuits filed against Sanofi-Aventis claim that the drug’s prescribing label doesn’t adequately warn patients and doctors about the potential for permanent eye injuries and other vision-related side effects of Taxotere. In addition, the label doesn’t tell patients with side effects to seek immediate treatment to avoid potentially permanent eye damage.

“Although Sanofi warns that ‘excessive tearing which may be attributable to lacrimal duct obstruction has been reported,’ Sanofi failed to warn patients and oncologists of the risk that the damage can occur quickly and can be permanent,” according to a Taxotere lawsuit filed by Jennifer Burns on November 12, 2021.

Plaintiffs had to undergo multiple surgeries to insert tubes into tear ducts to correct tearing problems. For some, surgeries didn’t alleviate epiphora.

Vision damage lawsuits were consolidated into multidistrict litigation in Louisiana under the same judge overseeing the hair loss lawsuits in February 2022.

Studies Show Permanent Eye Damage

Studies show Taxotere may damage the lacrimal system and can cause canalicular stenosis, or a blockage in the tear ducts. This leads to excessive tearing called epiphora. If canalicular stenosis isn’t treated quickly, it leads to permanent blockage of tear ducts.

Some patients who have taken Taxotere have suffered from permanent epiphora that causes blurry vision, irritation and swelling. The condition affects self-esteem, relationships and the ability to read or drive.

Researchers published the first studies linking Taxotere to epiphora as far back as the early 2000s. According to a 2001 study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, epiphora may occur in up to 77% of patients treated with weekly docetaxel treatments. Researchers hypothesize that docetaxel is secreted in tears and can cause fibrosis and scarring in tear ducts, which leads to canalicular stenosis.

Are you or a loved one suffering permanent and irreversible eye damage after taking Taxotere?

Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuits

Women and families suing allege the manufacturers were aware of the link between permanent hair loss and Taxotere (docetaxel) use and failed to warn physicians or patients. The lawsuits also allege the manufacturers marketed Taxotere (docetaxel) as more effective than other chemotherapy drugs even though other chemotherapy drugs were equally effective and did not include the risk of permanent hair loss.

Hair loss lawsuits were consolidated in Louisiana federal court in 2016.

Studies Showed Permanent Alopecia

According to lawsuits, Sanofi misled the public by falsely assuring them that hair would grow back after chemotherapy. But the company should have known that their drug had a higher rate of permanent alopecia than similar drugs on the market.

Studies the company should have been aware of include:
  • 1998
    Sanofi sponsored a study called GEICAM 9805. By 2005, the company knew that the results of this trial revealed 9.2% of women who used the chemo drug suffered permanent alopecia.
  • 2006
    Dr. Scot Sedlacek of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers conducted a study that revealed Taxotere could cause more than 6% of women to suffer permanent alopecia.

Despite informing patients in other countries, Sanofi did not warn women in the U.S. of this risk for years. The words “permanent hair loss” or “alopecia” did not appear in any information published in the U.S., lawsuits say.

Taxotere lawsuits call into question Sanofi’s motives since Taxotere’s initial FDA approval in 1996. They say Sanofi downplayed the risks of the drug and trained employees to misrepresent its safety and effectiveness.

According to a 2015 lawsuit filed by one of Sanofi’s former employees, the company engaged in illegal payment of kickbacks to health care professionals to prescribe the drug.

Do You Qualify for a Taxotere Lawsuit?

You may qualify for a Taxotere vision loss lawsuit if you received Taxotere chemotherapy drug for breast cancer or another type of cancer and suffered vision loss or problems. Each law firm has their own criteria, but in general the following injuries may qualify for a vision loss lawsuit.

Potential vision lawsuit injuries include:
  • Blocked tear ducts
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Excessive watery eye or tearing (epiphora)
  • Loss of vision
  • Swelling in and around the eyes
  • Narrowing of the tear ducts
  • Eye irritation
  • Eye surgery

Breast cancer survivors who were prescribed Taxotere before December 2015 and experienced permanent baldness, otherwise known as alopecia, as a result of Taxotere use may be eligible for compensation. Although hair loss is a common side effect related to chemotherapy drugs, permanent baldness is not.

Permanent baldness is a disfiguring condition, especially for women. Women who experience disfiguring alopecia as a result of Taxotere (docetaxel) use not only suffer physical and emotional loss, but also financial loss, including the cost of wigs and potentially the loss of work or inability to work due to significant psychological injury.

Not all law firms are still accepting hair loss cases.

How to File a Taxotere Lawsuit

The first step in filing a Taxotere lawsuit is getting a free case review from a Taxotere attorney. Only a qualified attorney can tell you whether you have a claim. Lawyers in these types of cases do not charge a fee unless you receive a settlement or win your trial.

Before talking to an attorney, make sure you have medical records from your oncologist and eye doctor. If you have any receipts, notes or any other documents related to your eye problems and Taxotere use, have it available. The attorney will ask you some questions about your Taxotere experience.

If you decide to hire the law firm, the firm will send you some paperwork to sign. Hiring a lawyer is an important decision, make sure you are comfortable with the firm before signing any paperwork.

Status of Taxotere Lawsuits

As of March 2022, Taxotere litigation is still pending and there are 11,979 hair loss lawsuits and 14 lawsuits for vision problems in Louisiana federal court. There have been no Taxotere lawsuit payouts to date.

The vision loss litigation is in the early stages, and attorneys are accepting client cases and investigation claims.

So far, Sanofi has won two bellwether trials in the hair loss litigation, one in September 2019 and another in November 2021. Despite the losses, the litigation continues.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.
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