Accutane Verdicts Reversed in NJ Court
Elise Kramer | August 29th, 2012
A New Jersey appellate court reversed three Accutane verdicts that had been handed down in 2008 after it was determined that the plaintiffs in these cases had failed to demonstrate proximate cause. The court found that the plaintiffs were unable to prove the their conditions could have been prevented by a strengthened warning on Accutane packaging. The patients involved in these lawsuits, Jordan Speisman, Kelly Mace, and Lance Sager, are all victims of Accutane inflammatory bowel disease. The decision was handed down on the 7th of August, 2012.
Plaintiffs seek compensation from drug maker
The plaintiffs all began taking Accutane in the late 1990s, when they were in their teens–Mace was 15, Sager was 17, and Speisman was 18. They all took the medication, which is a powerful treatment for severe acne, as recommended by their dermatologists. At the time, drug maker Hoffman-La Roche indicated that the drug was only “temporally associated” with inflammatory bowel disease, but Accutane ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease were not specifically mentioned. A stronger warning was added in 2003, but at that point, all three plaintiffs had ceased using the medication and were being treated for various forms of inflammatory bowel disease.
Each of the plaintiffs contacted an Accutane lawyer in the hopes of filing suit against the Swiss drug maker. They claimed that Hoffman-La Roche had failed to adequately warn patients about the potential risk of side effects, and a jury ruled that this was, in fact, the case. After their trials were complete, Sager received $2.65 million, Speisman was awarded $8.6423 million, and Mace received 1.628 million, which was later reduced to $578,000. These damages were compensatory and meant to reimburse the patients for medical care and other costs linked to their injuries.
Roche appeals millions in verdicts
Roche has been trying to appeal these verdicts for four years, and was finally successful. The final judgments have been reversed, and it is not clear whether or not the plaintiffs are going to pursue further action against the drug maker.
- NJ Appeals Court Remands 3 Million Accutane IBD Decision
- Accutane Side Effects Lawsuits Win Many Millions in Successful Lawsuits
- Accutane Ulcerative Colitis Lawsuits: The Story So Far