New Jersey Rules Accutane Lawsuit Can Progress
Elise Kramer | March 13th, 2012
Kamie Kendall was one of the earliest Accutane plaintiffs to win a sum from drug maker Hoffman-La Roche after filing an Accutane lawsuit. However, the drug makers appealed the decision, effectively negating her 0.5 million jury award and putting her back where she started in terms of litigation. One of the reasons Hoffman-La Roche appealed the verdict was because of their claim that the plaintiff filed her lawsuit outside of the two year statute of limitations. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court has now overruled that particular claim, stating that no reasonable person in her position could have known about side effects such as ulcerative colitis resulting from Accutane use before she did.
Thousands of plaintiffs in Accutane litigation
Plaintiff Kendall filed her lawsuit in 2005, after having taken the medication on and off since 1997, when she was 12. She was first prescribed the powerful acne medication at this point and took three more courses of it between 1997 and 1998. During this time, according to her lawsuit, she experienced no gastrointestinal symptoms. In April 1999, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. Her doctors were unaware of any connection between this and her Accutane use, so she took the medication again in 2000, and then finally in 2003. Before the final course of treatment, she went over the new warnings. These said that if patients experienced symptoms such as stomach, chest, or bowel pain, new or worsening heartburn, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, or dark urine, they should stop taking the drug. However, the label never mentioned inflammatory bowel disease by name.
Defendants ask for dismissal of Accutane lawsuit
According to Kendall, she did not become aware of a possible connection between ulcerative colitis and her Accutane use until she saw an advertisement in a magazine that outlined Accutane related side effects, which included ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease. The defendants claimed after she filed her lawsuit originally in 2005, she should have known about the potential side effects of the drug before the two year statute of limitations. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that this would simply not be likely.
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