Accutane Lawsuit Heard in Federal Appeals Court
August 19, 2008
A federal appeals court in Atlanta today heard arguments over whether a U.S. District Court Judge in Florida correctly dismissed testimony from an expert witness who would have testified that Accutane, an anti-acne drug, is linked to medical problems.
Accutane Lawsuit Background
The original lawsuit was filed in August 2003 by Justin Rand, who alleged Accutane caused him to develop inflammatory bowel disease. In November 2004, Justin Rand’s lawsuit and eight other lawsuits alleging Accutane injuries were consolidated into one.
The plaintiffs’ case against Accutane’s maker, New Jersey-based Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., relied primarily on testimony from Dr. Ronald Fogel, a Michigan gastroenterologist. Dr. Fogel planned to testify about his research study, which he believed would establish a “reliable foundation” linking Accutane with inflammatory bowel disease. U.S. District Court Judge James Moody, however, precluded Dr. Fogel’s testimony, questioning its reliability.
Accutane Lawsuit Oral Argument
Today in federal appeals court, attorneys for the nine plaintiffs urged a three judge panel to admit the expert testimony, which is central to their argument that Accutane caused the plaintiffs to develop Accutane induced inflammatory bowel disease. On the other hand, attorneys representing Roche pressed the appellate court to exclude the testimony, arguing that Accutane is not connected to adverse health effects and that the expert made “leaps of faith” in tracing a connection between the two.
Prior Accutane Jury Verdicts
In the past, similar lawsuits against Accutane’s maker have been successful. For example, in 2007, a Florida jury awarded $7 million to a man who had most of his colon removed after suffering from a disease he claimed was caused by Accutane. Also, in April 2008, a Utah jury awarded a woman $10.5 million, saying Roche downplayed Accutane’s health risks.
Accutane has been on the market since 1982. In 2002, it became available in generic form and three additional pharmaceutical companies began to sell it. Despite numerous lawsuits surrounding the drug, Accutane has never been withdrawn from the market.
In addition to claims that Accutane is causing colon problems and IBD, there are also accutane sucide lawsuits being pursued against the manufacturer. Accutane is also know to cause accutane birth defects in babies born to women who took accutane during pregnancies.
Free Accutane Lawsuit Consultation
In addition to inflammatory bowel disease, Accutane has been linked to birth defects, depression, suicide, and hair loss, among other things. If you or a loved one has been injured by Accutane, please contact us today as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.