Category: Personal Injury

Bard Hernia Plug and Ethicon Hernia Mesh Permanently Disables a Man

By Emily Cox
Hernia Plug and Mesh Permanently Disabled a Man
Photo by Joshua Zader

A new product liability lawsuit claims that a hernia plug and mesh caused extensive medical damage that required multiple surgeries and continues to debilitate a Texas man.

Matthew Ochoa filed the complaint in the Southern District of Texas in March. He named C.R. Bard, Bard Davol, Inc, Johnson & Johnson, and its Ethicon subsidiary as the companies responsible for damage incurred by their hernia mesh products.

Ochoa Hernia Plug and Mesh Difficulties

Ochoa indicates that he first received a Bard Perfix plug in March 2015. His medical complications began mere days after the surgery. He immediately developed groin pain and a spreading rash. Tests revealed that the hernia mesh had folded on itself. Ultimately, the hernia ruptured, requiring repair surgery.

In June 2015, Ochoa underwent hernia repair. Dr. Christopher Shin repaired the hernia with an Ethicon prolene mesh, stapling it all the way around. He didn’t remove the hernia plug, placing the new mesh under the defective device instead. After the surgery, Ochoa felt a sharp, excruciating pain in his lower right abdomen. He continues to feel this debilitating pain to this day.

Ochoa underwent yet another hernia surgery to remove the original, defective hernia plug in August 2015 despite significant risks. Dr. Shin had warned Ohoa that nerve damage and the possibility of losing his right testicle. However, Ochoa accepted the risks. Unfortunately, due to extensive complications, Dr. Shin was unable to remove all the mesh.

“During the operation, Dr. Shin found that the original mesh had been tangled with the nerves and 2% of the mesh concreted onto Matthew’s spermatic cord, which he was unable to remove,” the lawsuit notes. “The operation took 25% longer than anticipated due to the complications that arose from the entanglement.”

Ochoa’s condition continued to deteriorate dramatically. Dr. Shin determined that the defective mesh was causing severe adverse reactions in Matthew’s body. However, not surgical action was taken at this time.

Ongoing Hernia Plug and Mesh Complications

By December 2015, the pain in his testicle was unbearable. In January 2016, the mesh shifted, which only heightened his already substantial pain. When he became light headed, Ochoa pled Houston Methodist West Hospital to help. However, he was released when doctors could not determine a cause for his fever and physical state. Two days later, Ochoa lost his equilibrium and was unable to stand. He was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital in downtown Houston where he lost his ability to walk. Then, Ochoa started slurring his words and passed out. Surgeons determined that mesh removal was the best course of action. However, the hospital released him with the mesh still intact and paralyzed from the waist down.

Surgeons finally attempted to remove the mesh in February 2016. They found that 40 percent of the original mesh was tangled around the spermatic cord. The severity of Ochoa’s injuries shocked doctors.

“Dr. Bertini did his best to remove the mesh tangled around the cord, as Dr. Cramer found that the Prolene mesh Dr. Shin put in place, because of its defectiveness, tangled around a lot of nerves and tissue near the groin and lower right belly area,” the lawsuit states. “Once the surgery was over, Dr. Bertini and Dr. Cramer came into the room to explain out of all their collective years of practice, they had never seen a case as bad as Matthew’s.”

Ochoa’s hernia injuries eventually resulted in the loss of his tentacle and liver problems from his hernia mesh infection. Doctors believe some of the mesh is still in his body, causing ongoing severe pain and health problems.

 

Stryker LFit V40 Hip Replacement Lawsuits Centralized for Pretrial Proceedings

By Emily CoxHip Replacement Lawsuits

A judicial panel has ordered that all U.S. Stryker LFit V40 hip replacement lawsuits be brought before
one judge for coordinated pretrial proceedings.

The Stryker LFit V40 is a metal femoral head implant. Surgeons used it in combination with several different types of Stryker hip replacement systems. However, Stryker issued a recall last year for certain sizes and lots of the femoral head due to the growing number of individuals reporting taper lock failure with the metal head, requiring additional painful surgery.

A group of LFit V40 hip replacement plaintiffs filed a request for centralized litigation in January. The motion asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to transfer all LFit V40 cases to one judge for pretrial proceedings. These coordinated proceedings help prevent duplicate discovery and conflicting pretrial orders. According the JPML, this serves judicial efficiency, saving all parties time and money.

LFit V40 Hip Replacement Lawsuits Multi-District Litigation (MDL)

The JPML issued the transfer order April 5, following oral arguments March 30. While all parties supported centralization, they differed on the location of the consolidation. The order calls for all LFit V40 hip replacement cases to go before a judge in the District of Massachusetts.

“After considering the argument of counsel, we find that the actions in this litigation involve common questions of fact, and that centralization in the District of Massachusetts will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation,” the JPML ruled. “While any number of the parties’ proposed transferee districts would be suitable, we are persuaded that the District of Massachusetts is the appropriate transferee district for this litigation. Five LFIT V40 cases in the District of Massachusetts are pending before Judge Indira Talwani, who has not yet had an opportunity to preside over an MDL docket.”

There are currently six LFit V40 lawsuits pending in three different districts. However, the panel noted 27 additional possible cases.

The JPML established similar centralized proceedings after the 2012 Stryker Rejuvenate and ABG II voluntary recall. These centralized proceeding resulted in thousands of lawsuits.

Following coordinated discovery in that MDL, Stryker agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle the hip replacement lawsuits. This settlement was to resolve cases where individuals required revision surgery when the recalled implant failed.

Aventis Jumps to Prevent Expanded Discovery Scope into Taxotere Marketing Fraud

By Emily Cox
Aventis Attempts to Keep Court Out in Taxotere Marketing Fraud
Photo by theilr

Following an order that expanded the Taxotere marketing fraud lawsuit’s discovery to include two additional drugs, the breast cancer drug manufacturer was quick to file a response to prevent the court from compelling the company to produce this evidence.

Judge Lawrence F. Stengel issued the order late last week to expand the discovery scope in investigating alleged Taxotere marketing fraud to include Aventis drugs Nasacort and Lovenox. The order was in response to plaintiff Yoash Gohil’s motion to compel the discovery and prevent Aventis from withholding evidence. The motion suggested that evidence related to these other drugs showed a corporate policy of illegal and fraudulent marketing activities like the ones the company is accused of in relation to Taxotere.

“[This evidence is] relevant to the defendants’ state of mind, motive, corporate intent, and/or reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of claims,” the motion states.

Gohil also asserted that this evidence proves that Aventis violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Furthermore, the illegal and fraudulent Nasacort, Lovenox, and Taxotere marketing directives may have come from the same management. Gohil strongly indicated that this evidence shows a corporate culture of deceit, fraud, and corruption.

“[There is] extensive evidence of corporate goals to promote Taxotere and other drugs off-label; the use of corporate-wide kickbacks; systematic destruction of corporate records directed by the legal department to conceal off-label promotion and kickbacks, as well as obstruction of FDA inquiries,” the motion states.

Now, Aventis is desperate to keep the Taxotere marketing fraud investigation focused solely on Taxotere. In its response filed Tuesday, the company called the expanded discovery disproportionate to the needs of the case. Aventis pled the court to withhold this evidence.

Taxotere Marketing Fraud Lawsuit

Gohil is joined by the U.S. in his qui tam lawsuit, also known as a whistle blower lawsuit. They claim that Aventis engaged in fraudulent marketing practices. They further allege that the company provided illegal kickback and other illicit incentives. This was to encourage doctors to use Taxotere as first line treatment for less aggressive cancers. The FDA has only approved Taxotere for the treatment of certain aggressive, late stage cancers when other treatments have failed. The lawsuit indicates that the company has engaged in this behavior since 1996.

Allegedly, Aventis trained and directed employees to misrepresent the safety and effectiveness of off-label Taxotere use. The company also paid healthcare providers illegal kickbacks to get doctors to prescribe Taxotere for off-label use. These kickbacks included entertainment, sports, concert tickets, sham grants, speaking fees, travel, preceptorship fees, and fee reimbursement.

Taxotere’s illegal promotion increased the drug’s revenue from $424 million in 2000 to $1.4 billion in 2004. Consequently, it unnecessarily exposed thousands of women to the increased toxicity of Taxotere. This increased toxicity also comes with more severe side effects, including permanent hair loss.

In fact, the number of Taxotere lawsuits continues to skyrocket as more women discover Aventis knew about this permanent hair loss risk for more than a decade. However, the company hid it from American breast cancer victims. While the company started including permanent hair loss warnings on Taxotere in other countries, starting in 2005, it kept Americans in the dark until late 2015.

 

 

Bair Hugger Infection Bellwether Cases Chosen

By Emily Cox
Bair Hugger Infection Justice
Photo by Dan4th Nicholas

Patients and 3M identified about 30 Bair Hugger infection bellwether trial cases Friday in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) against 3M’s patient-warming device’s alleged tendency to cause infection after orthopedic surgery.

The patients and 3M each identified 16 cases from the 150 that the court randomly selected in January. The sides identified one common case. Consequently, this brings the total number of federal case nominations to 31. The parties selected these nominations from cases involving either a hip or knee implant procedure.

These early trials will help gauge how juries are likely to react to evidence that will be present throughout the litigation.

Bair Hugger Infection Background

Hypothermia is a common side effect of anesthesia during the first hour. 3M designed the Bair Hugger Forced-Air Warming system to prevent and treat unintended hypothermia during surgery. However, patients claim the warming device caused them to develop post-surgical infections. The device blows hot air into a specially designed blanket covering the patient. Consequently, this allegedly spreads bacteria from the hospital floor or from inside the device itself. In at least one instance, the Bair Hugger infection was drug-resistant and resulted in amputation.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) first consolidated the cases in 2015 in the District of Minnesota. At that time, 3M claimed the lawsuits were nothing more than a smear campaign by Bair Hugger inventor Scott Augustine. Augustine also founded Augustine Medical, which eventually became 3M’s Arizant Healthcare. Arizant also manufacturers Bair Hugger.

According to 3M, Augustine left the company in 2003 when his company was being investigated for Medicare fraud. Augustine ended up pleading guilty to one misdemeanor count of Medicare fraud and agreeing to pay the government $2 million in 2004. His company also pled guilty to criminal charges. The government dropped charges against Arizant. 3M bought Arizant from private equity company Court Square Capital in 2010.

3M continues to assert that it will vigorously defend the Bair Hugger device’s safety. However, with almost 1,600 patients claiming Bair Hugger infections, the company has an uphill battle ahead.

MiraLax May Cause “Horrifying” Changes in Children

By Emily Cox
MiraLax Adversely Effecting Children
Photo by Hartwig HKD

A recent report presents disturbing claims that children have developed neuro-psychiatric problems after taking MiraLax.

The FDA doesn’t recommend MiraLax for children under 17 and limits use to seven days. However, according to a recent investigative report,  families are claiming that pediatricians prescribe it like water and for extended periods of time to treat constipation in children.

While many parents view MiraLax as a godsend for their children’s constipation, several families are coming forward and reporting scary MiraLax side effects in their children. These side effects include behavioral issues, speech problems, anxiety, aggression, and depression.

6 ABC Action News reported that a doctor advised Jeanie Ward to give her three-year-old daughter, Nicole, the laxative. However, within 10 days, Nicole’s personality had drastically changed.

“Near psychiatric events with paranoia, mood swings, aggression, rage, the OCD repetitive chewing” Ward said. “It was horrifying to see my daughter change like that and to not completely go back to normal.”

Ward is not alone. Numerous other families shared similar stories with Action News.

“We saw a lot of the anger, a lot of the rage, a lot of the aggression,” parent Mike Kohler said. “I trusted the medical community, and they absolutely robbed me of part of my fatherhood.”

These sentiments are echoed by Jessica Aman and Sarah Locatelli.

“I feel like my son was absolutely robbed of most of his childhood,” she said.

“After six days on MiraLax, we noticed overnight he acted out of character,“ Locatelli said. “He had the rage, fears, phobias, anxieties.”

While Natalie Saenz had doubts due to MiraLax’s label indications, she trusted her pediatrician. He recommended MiraLax for off-label use on her daughter for eight months.

“All of a sudden, she started having these weird ticks,” Saenz said.

MiraLax Families Fight Back

These families and others complained to the FDA and formed a Facebook group with more than 3,000 members where other families have voiced similar concerns.

Ward also helped write a petition to the FDA to include a warning label and a MiraLax investigation. Consequently, the petition won a $325,000 study of a MiraLax ingredient –  Polyethylene Glycol (PEG).

“I think they are poisoning our chidren,” Ward said.

After the FDA reported 167 adverse side effects in kids, the agency awarded the study to CHOP. The FDA also found small amounts of the antifreeze ingredients in the laxative.

For now, the study is ongoing. Meanwhile, these families are urging pediatricians to avoid MiraLax recommendations. Instead, adding fiber rich foods and prune juice to a child’s diet can help move things along without the cost to mental health.

 

 

 

 

Aventis Fraud May Extend Beyond Controversial Breast Cancer Drug Taxotere

By Emily Cox
Aventis Fraud Whistleblower Lawsuit
Photo by Steven Depolo

A new order in the Aventis fraud lawsuit, alleging that the drug company engaged in illegal marketing tactics to increase Taxotere’s market share, indicates that these fraudulent and illicit practices extended to at least two of the company’s other drugs.

District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel issued the order late last week. He issued the order in response to plaintiff Yoash Gohil’s Motion to Compel Discovery. Gohil’s motion strongly indicates that evidence related to the drugs Nasacort and Lovenox shows that the sort of illicit and fraudulent activities surrounding Taxotere’s marketing is a matter of corporate policy.

Judge Stengel’s order mandates that Aventis produce this evidence by May 22. This expanded evidentiary scope applies to all future discovery as well.

“For purposes of all future discovery conducted in this matter, Aventis shall not withhold any documents or testimony from Plaintiff on the basis that the documents or testimony pertain to drugs other than Taxotere in connection with these requests,” Judge Stengel wrote.

Aventis Fraud Does Not Appear Limited to Taxotere

This order comes after Aventis refused to produce certain evidence in February. This evidence pertained to Aventis management’s knowledge of off-label marketing of Nasacourt and Lovenox. The company had agreed to produce certain responsive documents. However, they refused to procure compliance documents related to drugs other than Taxotere. Regardless, the court has decreed that these documents are discoverable.

“[This evidence is] relevant to the defendants’ state of mind, motive, corporate intent, and/or reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of claims,” the motion states.

Furthermore, these documents show that Aventis violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Gohil further contended the Nasacort, Lovenox, and Taxotere marketing directives may have come from the same management. The motion suggests a corporate culture of deceit, fraud, and corruption.

“[There is] extensive evidence of corporate goals to promote Taxotere and other drugs off-label; the use of corporate-wide kickbacks; systematic destruction of corporate records directed by the legal department to conceal off-label promotion and kickbacks, as well as obstruction of FDA inquiries,” the motion states.

Aventis Fraud Lawsuit

Gohil is joined by the U.S. in his Aventis fraud “whistleblower” lawsuit. They allege that Aventis engaged in fraudulent marketing, as well as provided illegal kickback and other illegal incentives to encourage Taxotere as a first line treatment for less aggressive cancers since 1996. Taxotere is only approved for the treatment of certain aggressive cancers when other treatments have failed.

Allegedly, Aventis trained and directed employees to misrepresent the safety and effectiveness of off-label Taxotere use. The company also paid healthcare providers illegal kickbacks such as entertainment, sports, concert tickets, sham grants, speaking fees, travel, preceptorship fees, and free reimbursement to get doctors to prescribe Taxotere for off-label uses.

Taxotere’s illegal promotion increased the drug’s revenue from $424 million in 2000 to $1.4 billion in 2004. Consequently, it exposed thousands of women to the increased toxicity of Taxotere and its more severe side effects, including permanent hair loss.

Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuits

Taxotere is a high potency breast cancer chemotherapy treatment. The drug has recently come under fire for not disclosing its severe side effects, including permanent hair loss. It has also received scrutiny from the FDA. It received a warning from the agency for claiming superiority over other treatments. However, studies clearly show less toxic treatments to be just as or more effective than Taxotere.

The number of Taxotere lawsuits continues to skyrocket as more women discover that Aventis knew about the permanent hair loss risk for more than a decade. The company updated its warning labels to include this risk in Canada and Europe in 2005 and 2012 respectively. However, it kept U.S. breast cancer victims in the dark until late 2015.

Many of these women assert that they may have chosen a different treatment if they had known about the side effects and that other, less toxic treatments were equally or more effective.

 

 

 

 

 

Farmer Claims Monsanto Weed Killer Caused Cancer

By Emily Cox
Monsanto Weed Killer May Cause Cancer
Photo by Daniel Lobo

A new product liability lawsuit alleges that exposure to the popular Monsanto weed killer Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Thomas Taylor filed the complaint March 29 in Delaware Superior Court. The complaint alleges that Monsanto deceived farmers and other agricultural workers about Roundup’s safety. The company claimed that the weed killer and its active ingredient, glyphosate, were “safer than table salt” and did not recommend protective clothing while using the herbicide.

“For nearly 40 years, farmers across the globe have used Roundup, unaware of its carcinogenic properties,” the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, Taylor used Roundup routinely for three years while working on a northern Michigan farm. Taylor maintains that he both mixed and sprayed the weed killer around eight times per month from June to September each year, following all safety and precautionary warnings.

Taylor was diagnosed with large non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in April 2013. Consequently, Taylor underwent chemotherapy, resulting in gallstones. Furthermore, he continues to be monitored by his oncologist.

“As a result of his injury, Plaintiff has incurred significant and continuing economic and non-economic damages,” the claim states.

Monsanto Weed Killer Lawsuits

Taylor’s case joins the rising tide of similar individuals who suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after extended exposure to the Monsanto weed killer. These individuals indicate that they could have avoided their cancers if Monsanto had adequately warned of the risks. They maintain that they could have taken proper safety precautions or used safer products to control weed growth.

“Plaintiff’s injuries, like those striking thousands of similarly situated victims across the country, were avoidable,” the claim states.

In 1996, the New York Attorney General (NYAG) filed a lawsuit against Monsanto for false and misleading advertising about the safety of Roundup products. By November 1996, Monsanto entered into an Assurance of Discontinuance with NYAG. In this assurance, Monsanto agreed stop publishing and broadcasting any advertisements in New York that implied that the weed killer was safe. Monsanto upheld its end on this assurance. However, the company has not altered its advertising in any other state to this day. Consequently, Monsanto continues to assert that the chemical is “practically non-toxic” everywhere except New York.

In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, was likely a cancer-causing agent. The agency’s report specifically links Roundup with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

 

 

Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits Explode to More Than 4,000 Plaintiffs

By Emily Cox
Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits Explode
Photo Steven Lam

More than 4,000 women have filed talcum powder cancer lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, alleging that long-term use of their Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products caused ovarian cancer.

Parties in the consolidated federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) filed the  joint report following the March 28 status conference. The report included an update about the number of cases pending nationwide.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in October 2016. There are just over 200 talcum powder cases included in the centralized litigation. However, many of these cases involve multiple individuals. Consequently, these 200 complaints include more than 2,000 women.

Additionally, there are large dockets of talcum powder cancer lawsuits pending in various state courts. In Missouri, there are currently 1,411 women waiting for justice. In California, there are 472 talcum powder plaintiffs. New Jersey has 201 plaintiffs, while Delaware has 96.

Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits

As the number of talcum powder cancer lawsuits continue to mount against Johnson & Johnson, juries have already returned massive verdicts for talcum powder plaintiffs. These juries found that the company knew or should have reasonably known about the cancer risks but concealed them.  Missouri juries returned verdicts of $70 million, $55 million, and $72 million this past year.

All these women allege that despite significant scientific evidence that long-term vaginal exposure to talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson continued to market its talcum powder products to adult women for “personal freshness” and encouraged whole body use. Even after different organizations classified talc as a carcinogen, and the company’s talc supplier started including warnings on its shipments, Johnson & Johnson still asserts its talcum products are safe.

Despite the large verdicts and mounting lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson still refuses to negotiate Talcum powder cancer settlements. The company indicates that it will continue to defend claims in court.

The latest talcum powder trial will go before a jury next week. Lois Slemp filed the complaint. She alleges that she used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products for more than 40 years before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

 

 

Physiomesh Manufacturer Allegedly Knew the Hernia Mesh was Defective

By Emily Cox
Physiomesh Manufacturer
Photo by Johnny Silvercloud

A new lawsuit alleges that Physiomesh manufacturer Ethicon knew that their hernia mesh was defective prior to its market release but introduced and marketed it anyway, hiding the dangers from the public and medical community.

George Holloway filed the complaint Monday in the Northern District of Alabama. According to the lawsuit, Holloway received a Physiomesh Composite mesh implant to repair a hernia in October 2012. The severity of his complications from the defective mesh necessitated additional invasive surgeries. Holloway claims he continues to suffer physical pain and mental anguish as a result of his injuries and additional surgeries. The claim directly attributes this to how the Physiomesh manufacturer designed its product.

Physiomesh’s defective design is not used with any other hernia mesh.  Ethicon promoted its unique multi-layer coating as minimizing adhesion and inflammation, while aiding incorporation of the mesh into the body.  Instead, this coating prevented incorporation of the mesh into Holloway’s body. This caused an intense inflammatory and chronic foreign body response. Consequently, Holloway suffered an adverse tissue reaction, as well as mesh migration. This severely damaged surrounding tissue and promoted improper healing. Furthermore, the impermeable Physiomesh coating prevents fluid escape. This leads to infection, abscesses, and other serious complications. It also provides a breeding ground for bacteria. However, the mesh prevents the body’s immune response from eliminating the bacteria. This allows infection to proliferate. The lawsuit classifies these defects as “cytotoxic, immunogenic, and not biocompatible.”

Physiomesh Manufacturer Allegedly Knew About These Defects and Concealed Them

Holloway’s claim alleges that Physiomesh manufacturer Ethicon knew about these risks even before releasing the product on the market.

“Defendants knew or should have known of the cytotoxic and immunogenic properties of the multi-layer coating of the Physiomesh prior to introducing it into the stream of commerce,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit alleges that the Physiomesh manufacturer concealed these risks from Holloway and his doctor. Consequently, Holloway could not make an informed decision regarding his care. Ethicon profited from this uninformed decision to the detriment of Holloway’s heath and countless others. According to previous lawsuits, Physiomesh has a substantially higher profit margin than other hernia meshes. These lawsuits allege that the Physiomesh manufacturer was protecting this margin rather than patients who depended on the company to help them.

As reports of serious injuries continued to mount, Ethicon issued an Urgent: Field Safety Notice in May 2016. The notice requested the return of all Ethicon Physiomesh Composite Mesh products but was vague on Ethicon’s culpability in the hernia mesh’s many failures.

Holloway’s case joins the growing number of individuals filing claims over serious injuries caused by Ethicon’s Physiomesh.

 

Taxotere Science Day Set to Show Link Between Breast Cancer Drug and Hair Loss

By Emily Cox
Taxotere Science Day
Photo by Mars P.

The multidistrict litigation (MDL) will hold a Taxotere Science Day on May 3 to educate the court about the link between the chemotherapy drug and permanent hair loss.

Judge Kurt Engelhardt issued the pretrial order late last month. The order indicated that the May 3rd Taxotere Science Day presentations would be informative in nature rather than adversarial.

It is common for higher courts to schedule scientific presentations like the Taxotere Science Day when a large number of individuals have brought similar claims of injury from the same product. This allows all parties to explain issues that will come up throughout the litigation in a non-combative setting. These presentations are typically not on the record or subject to cross-examination.

In October 2016, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) centralized all claims against Taxotere manufacturer Sanofi S.A., alleging the company failed to warn about the link between Taxotere and permanent hair loss. JMPL consolidated all these cases to avoid duplicative discovery and avoid conflicting rulings, thereby saving everyone time and money.

Taxotere Hair Loss Risk

Hair loss is a widely known and accepted chemotherapy side effect. However, these women maintain that Sanofi S.A. provided false and misleading information that suggested hair regrows after Taxotere treatments. But this is not the case for many women. While Sanofi S.A. updated warning labels in other countries as early as 2005 to include the permanent hair loss risk, it did not provide this information to American women until 2015.

Furthermore, these lawsuits claim that the drug is actually no more effective at treating breast cancer. Yet, it carries the risk of permanent hair loss, or alopecia. This risk is not associated with less toxic treatments.  However, Sanofi S.A. fraudulently overstated the effectiveness of Taxotere, making women believe that it was their best chance at survival.

Taxotere Science Day Hair Loss Link

The Taxotere Science Day is going to delve into the science behind Taxotere’s hair loss risk rather than Sanofi S.A.’s fraudulent and misleading statements pertaining to their breast cancer drug.

Taxotere (docetaxel) is a high-potency taxane-based cancer drug. Sanofi S.A. introduced it in 1996 as a “superior” alternative to low-potency taxanes like Taxol. After several studies showed less toxic treatments to be as effective or more than Taxotere, the FDA warned Sanofi S.A. to cease all claims of superiority to other cancer drugs.

As early as 2005, studies have found that Taxotere has a substantial risk of permanent hair loss. Some findings indicate that one out of every 10 Taxotere recipients experienced hair loss that lasted more than 10 years.

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