On February 16, 2009, a New Jersey jury awarded $25.16 million in damages to Andrew McCarrell of Birmingham, Alabama for injuries he sustained using the acne medication, Accutane.  The jury concluded that Hoffmann-La Roche, the manufacturer of Accutane, knew or should have known that Accutane caused Inflammatory Bowel Disease (“IDB”) and that Roche failed to warn prescribing physicians of the serious side effects associated with its use.  Although almost 1,000 Accutane lawsuits have been filed nationwide, this is the largest damage award to come out of the Accutane mass tort actions to date.   

In 1995, McCarrell, a computer technician, began taking Accutane.  As a result of his Accutane use, he developed chronic ulcerative colitis, underwent five surgeries and eventually had his colon removed. During the five day retrial, McCarrell’s attorneys presented evidence that Roche knew of and never disclosed studies to the medical community linking Accutane to IBD. In reaching its decision, the jury awarded McCarrell $25 million in compensatory damages and $159,000 for past medical expenses. Previously, in May 2007, an appeals court overturned the original verdict awarding McCarrell $2.62 million.

Accutane’s Dangerous History

Accutane was first introduced by Roche in 1982 to treat severe forms of acne.  In 2004, the FDA named Accutane as one of the top five most dangerous drugs available on the market.  Additionally, in June 2009, Roche announced a nationwide Accutane recall and stopped manufacturing the drug.  At the time the recall was issued, Roche had already awarded over $33 million in damages to victims harmed by Accutane.    

Contact an Accutane Lawyer

The Accutane lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are currently investigating Accutane lawsuits related to the serious side effects of Accutane.  If you or a loved one experienced a serious side effect associated with Accutane, you may be eligible to file an Accutane lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries.  

If you would like to discuss your legal rights, or are interested in learning more about the Accutane mass tort actions, our Accutane lawyers would be happy to answer your questions.  Contact our law firm today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Published November 17, 2011 by