Hagens Berman LLP, a nationally recognized law firm today praised a jury’s verdict that ordered pharmaceutical company Roche to pay $2 million to a woman who suffered serious gastrointestinal damage caused by the drug Accutane, while denying similar claims of actor James Marshall and another plaintiff.
Accutane, along with its active ingredient, isotretinoin, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1982 to treat severe acne and became one of the biggest selling drugs for Roche with more than 16 million users. However, the drug’s success has also been tainted by a history of more than 20 product-labeling modifications, FDA warning letters and litigation.
The woman, Gillian Gaghan, took the drug and developed serious complications, including ulcerative colitis and lupus-like symptoms, and has lost nighttime bowel control, court records show.
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The seven-person jury concluded that the Swiss drug giant did not warn Gaghan of the risks associated with taking the drug, which led to her developing the ulcerative colitis.
James Marshall, an actor with a long list of film credits, claimed that the injuries he sustained using Accutane cut short his promising career, a claim substantiated by testimony of Martin Sheen and director Rob Reiner. The jury found that Marshall had a pre-existing condition and that Accutane was not a substantial factor in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The jury agreed that Accutane was responsible for the third plaintiff’s development of IBD, but Roche’s failure to warn wasn’t a factor in Kelley Andrews‘ decision to take the drug.
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