Taxotere Judge Issues Orders for Common Benefit and Special Master

Lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly experienced permanent alopecia due to the Taxotere chemotherapy medication continue to move forward in the multidistrict litigation underway in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.

Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt issued two Pretrial Orders, including Pretrial Order 16 outlining a proposed Common Benefit Order previously submitted by the parties.

Pretrial Order 17 addresses the Court’s intent to appoint a Special Master for management, oversight, and substantive review of matters related to the common benefit, as well as any other matters or recommendation as directed by the Court. (In Re: Taxotere (Docetaxal) Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2740)

“The matters addressed in the Court’s latest Pretrial Orders will help ensure that the proceeding continues to move forward efficiently,” says Sandy A. Liebhard, a partner at Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing victims of defective medical devices and drugs.

Taxotere and Hair Loss

A total of 755 Taxotere lawsuits have been filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana on plaintiffs who experienced permanent hair loss following treatment with the chemotherapy agent. While Taxotere was first approved to treat breast cancer in 1996, it wasn’t until December 2015 that mention of permanent alopecia was included on the drug’s U.S. label. It is true that alopecia is a common side effect of chemotherapy. However, plaintiffs claim that Taxotere is more likely to result in the permanent loss of hair compared to

It is true that alopecia is a common side effect of chemotherapy. However, plaintiffs claim that Taxotere is more likely to result in the permanent loss of hair compared to other equally effective drugs. They also claim that Sanofi-Aventis has long provided information regarding the potential for permanent alopecia to individual patients and regulatory agencies overseas. Yet Taxotere’s U.S. label only included a generic, vague, and insufficient warning that “hair generally grows back”.

Back in December, when only 267 cases were filed in the MDL, Judge Engelhardt appointed plaintiff and defense settlement committees, calling on them to focus less on preparing for trial and more on resolving the case.

 


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