McCarrell v. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc.
On February 16, 2010, a New Jersey jury awarded Andrew McCarrell of Moody, Alabama, $25 million, the largest verdict to date for Accutane-based ailments. McCarrell’s lawsuit claimed his use of Accutane during his early 20s to combat severe acne caused his inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). McCarrell sued the Nutley, New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Hoffman-LaRoche (LaRoche), manufacturer of Accutane, alleging that it did not provide sufficient warning to users regarding the severe side effects of the drug. Even though McCarrell only took Accutane for four months in 1995, he endured years of pain including constant diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and severe stomach cramping. McCarrell suffered through five surgeries hoping to control his IBD symptoms but eventually had to have his colon removed.
Initially a jury awarded McCarrell $2.62 million in May 2007, but the judgment was overturned on appeal on the basis that data regarding Accutane users had been unfairly withheld from the trial judge. The case was set for retrial in early 2010. A second jury again found in favor of the plaintiff and awarded McCarrell compensatory damages of $25 million: $160,000 in medical expenses and $25 million for pain and suffering.
Accutane, or isotretinoin, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982 for the treatment of recalcitrant nodular acne, has been linked to many severe and often life-threatening side effects such as birth defects in a fetus if used by pregnant females, psychiatric disorders, and IBD, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It has been also linked with problems in functioning of other systems in the body such as liver, kidney, cardiovascular system and immune system.
LaRoche lost its patent protection in 2002 and pulled Accutane off the market in 2009, claiming debilitating losses due to generic-brand market competition. Yet, many theorize LaRoche pulled its product because of the increase in the number of lawsuits filed against the company. One estimate maintains over 5000 personal injury claims have been filed in the last twelve years.
Accutane users should be aware of the symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. If you experience any of the following, contact your doctor immediately.
- Rectal Bleeding
- Severe Diarrhea
- Excessive Bowel Movements
- Frequent Urges to Have Bowel Movements
- Blood in Stool
- Mucus in Stool
- Abdominal Pain
- Abdominal Cramping
Have You Been Affected by Accutane?
Any individual or the relative of an individual who has suffered due to Accutane’s side effects is permitted to file a lawsuit. The lawyers can help you determine whether you are qualified to seek compensation. You may be eligible to seek reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, and punitive damages (compensation granted for losses suffered). If you need further information about the harmful side effects of Accutane or legal advice concerning personal injury matters, we invite you to contact us or to fill out our form on this website for a free case evaluation.