Hagens Berman Applauds $2 Million Verdict in Accutane Lawsuit

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.

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.

Settlement of Accutane Lawsuit Reached Prior to Trial

A man who claimed that he developed severe bowel problems from Accutane, an acne medication, has reached a pre-trial settlement with Roche Laboratories, the drug’s manufacturer.

Roche has asked Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla to approve the Accutane settlement, according to a report in The Madison Record. The case, which was brought by plaintiff Jason Peipert, also involves a medical malpractice claim against an Illinois doctor, who may also be in settlement talks with the plaintiff.

Peipert alleges that Dr. Daniel Goran prescribed him Accutane to treat his acne, and that the drug caused him to develop the debilitating condition, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The case was set to go to trial on April 19, but start of the trial was delayed due the potential settlement with Accutane manufacturers.

Roche faces nearly 1,000 Accutane lawsuits, which involve allegations that the drug maker failed to adequately warn users about potential side effects of Accutane. The company has lost all six Accutane bowel disease trials that have reached a jury so far, with verdicts totalling $56 million.

The largest judgment so far was awarded to Andrew McCarrell, of Alambama, who received $25.16 million in compensation by a New Jersey jury in an Accutane trial earlier this year.

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