Court Overturns Verdicts in New Jersey Accutane Case

A New Jersey Court of Appeals has reversed three personal injury verdicts for plaintiffs who claimed they were injured by the drug Accutane.

The plaintiffs, residents of Florida, began taking Accutane for cystic acne when they were teenagers in the late 1990s.

Roche, which made the drug, included a warning on the label that Accutane was “temporarily associated” with inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD. The label didn’t mention risks for Accutane ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

Later labels added stronger warnings, but the plaintiffs had stopped taking the drug by then and were being treated for IBD.

In 2008, a jury found that Roche had failed to warn the plaintiffs of possible risks associated with the drug and that if Roche had provided proper warnings the plaintiffs wouldn’t have taken it.

The plaintiffs were originally awarded damages of $2.65 million, $8.6425 million, and $1.628 million, respectively. The latter amount was later reduced to $578,000.

The New Jersey appellate court found that the plaintiffs had failed to prove that their illnesses could have been prevented by a stronger warning about Accutane’s side effects.

The plaintiffs’ dermatologists had testified at the original trial that they would have prescribed Accutane even if the IBD warnings had been stronger.

New Jersey courts have found for Roche in some cases, but in other cases have awarded plaintiffs as much as $9 million for Accutane-related health claims.

If you or a family member have been injured or made ill by Accutane or any other prescription drug, contact a New Jersey personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Hasson, P.C.

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