For the past five years, Stag Liuzza has litigated cases on behalf of women who suffered permanent alopecia, or hair loss, as a result of receiving a breast cancer chemotherapy drug called Taxotere. Plaintiffs claim that the manufacturers of the drug, including Sanofi-Aventis U.S., L.L.C. (“Sanofi”) and approximately twelve other pharmaceutical companies, failed to warn users of this side effect.
Taxotere Cases are pending in the EDLA
The cases are consolidated in the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans and have been under the purview of two different judges. Plaintiffs have fought a long uphill battle with two cases being tried and both resulting in defense verdicts. In the first, the jury found that the plaintiff did not have permanent chemotherapy induced alopecia due to Taxotere. In the second, the jury concluded that the plaintiff failed to prove Sanofi did not take reasonable care to warn plaintiff’s prescribing physicians about the risk of hair loss associated with Taxotere. Both plaintiffs appealed.
Taxotere Appeal Gives Case New Life
Recently, plaintiffs received a glimmer of hope in the litigation when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the first aforementioned jury verdict in favor of Sanofi, and remanded the case for a new trial.
The Court of Appeals found that the trial court erroneously permitted two of Sanofi’s witnesses to offer evidence and testify that the risk of alopecia was small after Taxotere use. The first witness was a corporate representative and former vice president of Sanofi and the second was an expert. Essentially, the Court of Appeals found that because the corporate representative was not qualified as an expert, his scientific opinion should not have been allowed. It also ruled that the expert’s testimony should not have been admitted because those opinions relied on the corporate representative’s testimony. Further, the fact that the inadmissible opinions were featured in Sanofi’s closing arguments detrimentally prejudiced the plaintiff. Hence, a new trial.
We are hopeful that this decision is a sign of good things to come in the Taxotere litigation and we are able to obtain justice for the thousands of women injured by Sanofi’s wrongdoing.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a medical device or pharmaceutical, contact Stag Liuzza, LLC for a free consultation at 505-593-9600.