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Taxotere Multidistrict Litigation May Remand Some Cases to State Courts

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New Orleans, LAPlaintiffs in a Louisiana multidistrict Taxotere litigation have asked the court to remand several cases back to state courts.

The Louisiana Taxotere MDL In Re: Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2740, US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana concerns lawsuits filed by hundreds of plaintiffs who allege that their hair never grew back after they received Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug, during cancer treatment.

The federal court system employs multidistrict litigation to centralize and manage large numbers of complex, related lawsuits with similar allegations by transferring those cases to one judge for pre-trial discovery.

In October 2016, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ordered that 33 Taxotere lawsuits be transferred to the US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. Since the order, the number of Taxotere lawsuits in the MDL has swelled to more than 1,100 cases.

Plaintiffs in Taxotere (docetaxel) Mulitidistrict Litigation (MDL) 2740 filed the motion to remand certain cases from more than 1,100 lawsuits in the MDL back to three different state courts in California, Delaware and Missouri.

The FDA approved Taxotere (docetaxel) in 1996. The chemotherapy drug is administered intravenously and used to treat breast cancer, non-small lung cancer and prostate cancer. Taxotere's possible side effects can include low blood cell count, allergic reactions, fluid retention, gastrointestinal problems and hair loss (alopecia).

An earlier patient leaflet for Taxotere patients stated that "Once you have completed all your treatment, hair generally grows back." However, the FDA updated its safety information on Taxotere (docetaxel) in Dec. 2015 to include the adverse reaction of hair loss: "Permanent cases of alopecia have been reported."

On July 7, 2017, attorneys for MLD Delaware and California plaintiffs offered oral arguments in an appearance before US District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt to remand certain cases back to their respective state courts.

Plaintiffs' counsel argued in favor of earlier motions that asked for nine of the Taxotere MDL lawsuits to be remanded to the Superior Courts of California and 59 Taxotere lawsuits to be remanded to the Superior Court of Delaware.

Plaintiff attorneys also filed a motion to remand two Taxotere lawsuits to the 22nd Judicial Court in St. Louis, Mo. However, no argument was held on that motion during the appearance before Judge Engelhardt. The parties are to file a written submission regarding that motion at a later date.

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