Over 2000 product liability lawsuits have been reinstated against Defendant, a large pharmaceutical healthcare company by users of the acne drug Accutane. Plaintiffs allege they developed severe bowel disease after taking the medication. Lawsuits accused Defendant of knowing there was a link between Accutane and gastrointestinal symptoms. The acne drug was taken off the market in 2009.
New Jersey plaintiff Andrew McCarrell states that Accutane’s warning labels did not contain sufficient information on the risks of the acne drug. McCarrell suffered stomach pain and diarrhea after taking the drug and was then diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. In the next few years, he underwent multiple surgeries, including having his colon and rectum removed. His weight dropped from 162 pounds to 114 pounds. McCarrell suffered the classic symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease as described by Mayoclinic.org:
“IBD involves chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. IBD primarily includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both usually involve severe diarrhea, pain, fatigue and weight loss. IBD can be debilitating and sometimes leads to life-threatening complications.”
McCarrell claims that Accutane labels said stopping the medication would end any negative symptoms. He argues that Defendant knew or should have known that Accutane not only could trigger inflammatory bowel disease after its use, but that it could also cause irreversible damage to his organs. He accuses Defendant of inadequate product warnings which led to his serious condition.
Defendant counters that no scientific studies prove Accutane can cause IBD or suicide and that the company provided ample warning about side effects.
The appeals court in litigation against Defendant ruled that the gastroenterology expert witnesses used accepted scientific methods to analyze the evidence in the Atlantic County Superior Court case. Gastroenterology experts are experienced in treating inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, colon cancer, pancreatitis, and more. These highly skilled expert witnesses play a key role in medical litigation by strengthening the argument in such cases.