Jury Awards 8 Million to Two Plaintiffs in Accutane Mass Tort
Tracy Ray | July 25th, 2012
On June 29, 2012, a jury decided in favor of two plaintiffs in the Accutane mass tort, which consolidates Accutane cases in the Atlantic County Superior Court in New Jersey. The jury awarded $9 million to each of the two plaintiffs, or 8 million in total.
The plaintiffs, Riley Wilkinson and Kathleen Rossitto, both developed ulcerative colitis after using the acne medication Accutane. Each plaintiff’s Accutane lawsuit held manufacturer Hoffman-LaRoche liable for their injuries, alleging that the drug company failed to warn them about the drug’s side effects.
The jury agreed with the plaintiffs, finding that Accutane did cause their ulcerative colitis, that Hoffman-LaRoche did not adequately warn about the drug’s risks, and, crucially, that this failure to warn was a significant factor that contributed to the plaintiffs’ decision to take Accutane.
Two other plaintiffs lose their cases
In contrast to their ruling in favor of Wilkinson and Rossitto, the jury ruled against two other plaintiffs, Rebecca Reynolds and Jason Young. While the jury did agree that Hoffman-LaRoche failed to warn about Accutane’s side effects, in this instance the jury did not find that failure to warn had a significant impact on the plaintiffs’ decision to use Accutane. Thus, no Accutane settlement was awarded to these two plaintiffs.
The New Jersey Accutane mass tort is intended to streamline the judicial process by consolidating lawsuits that make similar claims and cite similar evidence. In this case, the jury’s verdict involved four lawsuits from four different plaintiffs. Judge Carol Higbee is overseeing the mass tort.
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are devastating side effects of Accutane
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are two forms of Accutane inflammatory bowel disease. There is no cure for these conditions, whose symptoms include abdominal cramping, chronic diarrhea, bloody stools, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and anemia. Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine and rectum, while Crohn’s disease can strike at any point along the patient’s digestive tract. Patients with these debilitating conditions must make radical lifestyle changes and undergo ongoing treatment in order to live with these illnesses. In many cases, juries have found that these life-changing illnesses could have been prevented if Hoffman-LaRoche had properly warned the public and the medical community about the potential risks of Accutane.
- Generic Accutane Lawsuits in New Jersey Mass Tort Put On Hold
- Accutane Lawsuits Aggregated into Federal and State Multi-Case Litigations are Ongoing
- Accutane Mass Tort Trial Continues in New Jersey