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Accutane Lawsuits: Judges Ruled in Favor of Roche

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New York, NYRecent rulings by two separate judges may affect thousands of Accutane victims. A federal judge in Florida found that Accutane inflammatory bowel disease warning label was adequate and the New Jersey judge dismissed cases due to the statute of limitations.

The Florida ruling (September 23, 2014) by US District Judge James Moody found that the post-2000 Accutane warning label was adequate under California law because it listed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as a “possible consequence” of taking isotretinoin (Accutane’s chemical name). Judge Moody determined that Roche adequately warned and referenced such side effects on both Accutane’s medication guide and patient guides.

Accutane warning label

The Accutane lawsuit was brought by Karly Greenshields, who took the acne medication in 2007 for more than six months and claims she developed IBD after taking Accutane. Only two cases now remain in the federal multidistrict litigation but this ruling may effect more than 7,300 cases pending in New Jersey state court that have similar allegations, i.e., inadequate warning labels. The last two cases are slated for a January trial. However, if Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Nelson Johnson agrees with Judge Moody’s ruling, the trials might not proceed.

Judge Moody also ruled in favor of Roche in February of 2013, concluding that the plaintiffs, involving 40 Accutane lawsuits, had no legitimate reason to miss the court’s deadline regarding their expert witness who could testify that Accutane causes IBD. Plaintiff Ryan Thompson claimed he had to have parts of his bowel surgically removed as a result of taking Accutane.

Thompson met with the physician who prescribed him Accutane in August 2000, and the prescribing information and brochures provided by Roche three months earlier adequately warned of the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, according to Judge Moody. Under Texas law, a warning is presumed to be adequate if its FDA approval has not been disputed. Judge Moody ruled that Thompson could not claim that the acne medication was defectively designed because “Texas law holds that such allegations would allow juries to question the FDA’s approval.”

Accutane statute of limitations

And yet another blow to Accutane victims came October 3, 2014. Judge Nelson Johnson dismissed four bellwether trials due to the statute of limitations. Previously, Judge Carol Higbee had allowed the cases to continue, claiming they were exceptions to the statute of limitations. But Judge Johnson determined the plaintiffs, whose trials were first scheduled for January and March, had waited too long to file their claims. (Plaintiffs must file their cases within two years of their original diagnosis of a disease linked to Accutane.)

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Recent years has seen increase in accutane law suits. Good people are aware about accutane.

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