Taxotere Lawsuit Moves Forward

Taxotere Lawsuit Moves Forward

To expedite claims, the federal Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has transferred all pending Taxotere cases to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Sanofi-Aventis obtained the Food ad Drug Administration’s permission to sell Taxotere in 1996. Over the years, hundreds of victims filed suit, alleging that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn them about potential serious side effects. The plaintiffs also allege that, contrary to the manufacturer’s claims, this drug is only marginally more effective than some of its safer counterparts and Sanofi-Aventis used kickbacks and other illegal measures to promote and sell Taxotere.

Taxotere’s revenue soared from $424 million in 2000 to $1.4 billion in 2004.

Docetaxel Side Effects

Doecatxel (Taxotere) is one of the most widely-prescribed chemotherapy drugs in the United States, as up to 75 percent of such patients may be on Taxotere, because it has proven to be very effective. However, as a general rule, powerful drugs also have powerful side effects. With Taxotere, the most distressing side effect is probably alopecia (permanent hair loss). For many female cancer survivors, hair regrowth is so much more than a cosmetic development. Instead, it is an enduring symbol that they have indeed beaten the disease and can resume somewhat normal lives. So, women who take this drug must continue their lives without this catharsis, to say nothing of the pain and humiliation of permanent hair loss.

These effects may be widespread, since according to one study, as many as 10 percent of Taxotere users also develop alopecia. The Food and Drug Administration has issued multiple warnings about Taxotere, including a “black box warning” about possible toxic death.

Multi-District Litigation

Dangerous drug and other similar mass tort matters are unique among negligence cases. Although there are hundreds or thousands of victims, the individual cases are factually dissimilar, so class action consolidation is inappropriate. However, because of the sheer volume of victims, not to mention the highly technical nature of these cases, these matters would quickly overwhelm most civil courts in most jurisdictions.

So, federal lawmakers created the multidistrict litigation system to handle these cases. If there are some common factual issues, such as the type of drug ingested or type of device implanted, cases from all over the country are consolidated into one courtroom for pretrial purposes. The judge and staff have specialized knowledge about that type of case. Nearly all civil disputes settle out of court, and MDL cases tend to settle on plaintiff-friendly terms, because once the dominoes begin falling, cases settle quickly. If the parties do not resolve the individual dispute, it goes back to its originating court for trial.

For prompt assistance with your own Taxotere or other dangerous drug lawsuit, contact Bowling Green attorney Gary S. Logsdon for a free consultation.