New Jersey Jury Orders Drug Giant Roche to Pay $18 Million in Damages to Former Accutane Users

Last month, a New Jersey jury ordered Swiss-based drug manufacturer Roche to pay a total of $18 million in damages to two women over health complications allegedly caused by the company's Accutane drug. In their lawsuit, Kathleen Rossitto and Riley Wilkinson alleged they both developed irritable bowel disease after taking Accutane. The two women also accused Roche of failing to properly warn them that the drug could cause such health complications. Following six hours of deliberations, the Atlantic City jury awarded each woman $9 million in compensatory damages. The jury also refused to award damages to two other plaintiffs involved in the litigation.

With approximately 16 million users worldwide, the anti-acne drug Accutane was once one of Roche's best selling drugs. The company began selling Accutane in 1982, but pulled the brand off of the market in 2009 after losing several multi-million dollar personal injury lawsuits. Roche was ordered to pay damages to former Accutane users in nine of the 13 jury trials held in the United States since April 2007, although some cases were later overturned on appeal. A spokesperson for Roche stated the company acted appropriately with regard to Accutane safety warnings and plans to appeal the most recent verdict.

Regulators in Europe recently stated that Roche has a history of failing to properly evaluate safety issues related to its drugs and failing to pass safety concerns on to European health officials. According to the European Medicines Agency, Roche failed to disclose approximately 80,000 possible adverse reaction safety reports collected in the United States to regulators in the European Union.

Despite stringent federal safety regulations, some pharmaceutical drugs still prove harmful or fatal to those individuals who ingested or somehow came into contact with the drug. Potential Accutane and other harmful drug lawsuits are currently being evaluated throughout New York and New Jersey. If you or a family member experienced health complications, a disabling injury, or died as a result of taking a drug manufacturer's product, you should discuss your options with an experienced personal injury attorney.

At the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC, our experienced White Plains personal injury lawyers are available to assist clients who were hurt by a prescription medication receive the compensation they deserve based on the extent of their injuries. Our dedicated and caring attorneys have more than 45 years of experience representing clients throughout both New York and New Jersey. To speak with a skilled pharmaceutical injury attorney today, call the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC at (212) 835-6768 in New York City, or contact our diligent lawyers through the law firm's website.

Additional Resources:

Roche Ordered to Pay $18 Million to Former Accutane Users, by Jef Feeley, Bloomberg.com