December 13, 2016

Taxotere Litigation – What You Need to Know


GCW Attorney Scott Thompson

When I was a toddler, a routine blood test brought my family to its emotional knees. The results of the test painted an atypical picture of my white blood cell count. The numbers from a simple test showed the unthinkable. The pediatricians then informed my parents of their worst nightmare – the results suggested cancer.

For any family, or any person, a cancer diagnosis can present life’s greatest difficulty.  Even hearing the word “cancer” from a doctor or loved one can prove too much to stomach. In my case, as fate would have it, I managed to evade cancer because the results of the original blood test were a false positive. Yet, the lesson of this experience was clear: cancer is a unique challenge that can bring anyone to their wit’s end. Even a small brush with the disease is enough to throw one’s life into chaos.

Given the terrifying nature of cancer, it is even more upsetting to learn that large pharmaceutical companies – the companies that manufacture chemotherapy and related drugs – can put their profit lines above the interests of the individuals to whom their products are prescribed. Sadly, it seems, this is precisely the situation that many Americans find themselves in today.

Over the last calendar year, individuals across the country began filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of Taxotere, a widely-used chemotherapy drug. In fact, Taxotere is used to treat a majority of breast cancer patients. Its wide-spread usage has – per some reports – generated $3 billion in revenue for its manufacturer, Sanofi, in 2009 alone.

Chemotherapy Drug Lawsuit Filed

The individuals that filed these lawsuits claim that Taxotere causes permanent hair loss. Possibly more alarming, they also claim that the manufacturer intentionally hid this information from the patients who were prescribed the drug. After using Taxotere to fight cancer, female survivors across the country were allegedly left with a difficult physical reminder of their encounter with cancer – permanent baldness. Losing your hair is emotionally and physically draining. Not only must these women endure hair loss, they are forced to reimagine their self-image, and come to terms with an appearance that will forever link them to an emotional battle with cancer. The true of cost of such damage is quite hard to estimate or even comprehend.

In early October, a federal court consolidated the lawsuits involving Taxotere into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) proceeding. The MDL process allows the federal court system to streamline large numbers of lawsuits that involve the same basic facts. As the process continues in the court system, Gingras Cates & Wachs is available to assist individuals and families experiencing the upsetting side-effects from Taxotere. Our attorneys are seasoned in medical products-liability litigation and would be happy to answer your call.

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