$2.1 Million Jury Verdict Reversed in Accutane® Lawsuit
The Switzerland-based manufacturer, Roche Holding AG, recently won a reversal of a $2.1 million jury verdict in favor of a California woman who alleged the company’s Accutane® acne medication caused her inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Bloomberg reports.
Plaintiff Gillian Gaghan’s case went to trial in 2011, where she alleged that the company failed to warn her of the risks associated with Accutane® use. After a $2.1 million dollar jury verdict against defendants, the appellate panel reversed the verdict based on the trial judge’s error in ruling that one of the questions, whether Accutane® caused IBD, was linked to the decision by the plaintiff to ingest the drug, rather than her doctor’s decision to prescribe it.
In the 54-page appellate opinion, the panel stated that “[a] prescription drug manufacturer fulfills its duty to warn if it provides adequate warnings to the prescribing physician, and it has no duty to ensure that the warning reaches the patient.”
Accutane® was approved in the United States in 1982, but Roche pulled it off the market in 2009 after juries awarded millions of dollars to claimants alleging the medication caused them to develop IBD. Roche has faced over 8,000 lawsuits arguing that Accutane® is linked to IBD. According to the most recent report from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), there are currently 6 Accutane® cases left pending in the Multidistrict Litigation (MDL 1626). These MDL cases are in front of The Honorable James S. Moody, Jr. in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
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