Skip to the main content.
2 min read

$18 Million Awarded, Revoked over Accutane: Judge's Error, 3000 Cases to go...

Featured Image

$18 Million Awarded, revoked over Accutane Drug, 3,000 Cases to go…

  • Appellate Division overturns major verdicts against Hoffman-La Roche by Accutane users, noting prejudicial flaws by Judge, including restricting number of expert witnesses to testify
  • Judge allowed Plaintiff’s Counsel to show jury label was changed in 2000, after ruling label would be excluded

Kathleen Rossitto and Riley Dean Wilkinson, New Jersey and Utah residents, respectively, began using the drug “Accutane” as minors in the mid to late 1990’s, and almost simultaneous developed Ulcerative Colitis, a form of IBD or “Inflammatory Bowel Disease” just two years later.

The Plot Thickens

The pair brought lawsuits against pharmaceutical manufacturer, Hoffman-La Roche, Inc., and were tried together by Superior Court Judge Carol Higbee in 2012. At trial, the judge thwarted admission of a revised warning label to Accutane’s original packaging in 2000. However, 29 days later, she allowed it to compromise the testimony of former Chief Medical Officer for Hoffman-La Roche, Mr. Russell Ellison.

Denying the corporation’s motion for a mistrial, she explained to the jury that the 2000 label was admitted solely for the intention of undermining the Medical Officer’s credibility, not to illustrate a previously inadequate label...

Appellate Intervention

On appeal, the court noted that the Superior Court judge was not permitted to “stray” from the original determination, explaining that the ‘probative value’ of the labels’ discretization was overshadowed by the strong bias to the defense.  In its written decision, the same court further noted that the impact of the judge’s limitation on the number of expert witnesses for the defense, while insufficient on its own merits, added a degree of concern regarding the initial labeling dilemma.

More to come…

Two other plaintiffs, part of the same trial, received verdicts of “no-cause” by the jury. However, La Roche has defeated plaintiffs at two trials, and has seen seven additional trials return on appeal in favor of the mega corporation. Roughly 3,000 cases against Hoffman-La Roche are still currently pending.

Original Link:

Do you feel the decision to overturn the verdicts was appropriate, or misguided? Comment below! Don't forget to share :-)