Taxotere Multidistrict Litigation Transferred

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley
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In 1996, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) approved Taxotere “for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer after failure of prior chemotherapy.”  However, women claim that Sanofi- Aventis breast cancer drug Taxotere has caused them to permanently lose their hair.

Plaintiffs sued Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer of Taxotere claiming the company failed to warn of the increased risks of permanent hair loss.  Plaintiffs assert, “Contrary to Defendant’s claims of superior efficacy, post market surveillance has shown that the more potent and more toxic Taxotere does not in fact offer increased efficacy or benefits over other taxanes, as defendants have claimed and advertised.”

Plaintiffs also contend, “As a direct result of their wrongful conduct and illegal kickback schemes, Defendants directly caused thousands of individual to be exposed to Taxotere’s increased toxicity as compared to other available less toxic products.”  “As a direct result of Defendants’ fraudulent marketing scheme, Defendant dramatically increased revenue on sales of Taxotere from $424 million in 2000 to $1.4 billion in 2004,” Plaintiffs allege.

Plaintiffs have moved to request the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to create a Multi District Litigation (“MDL”) for all of the federal lawsuits.  They ask that the cases be transferred to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The motion stated, “transfer and coordination/consolidation of the actions will be best serve the interests of justice and efficiency by permitting a single court to coordinate discovery and resolve disputes common to the pending actions, thus avoiding unnecessary taxing of the judicial system’s and the litigations’ finite resources.”

They also asserted that unconsolidated pretrial proceeding in these cases “would greatly increase the costs of this litigation for all parties, waste judicial resources, and create a significant risk of inconsistent ruling on these common questions of fact,” Plaintiffs allege.

Plaintiffs contend that transfer and consolidation of the Taxotere lawsuits and the “many anticipated actions to be filed in the near future” would promoted judicial economy, prevent potentially conflicting pretrial rulings, and will reduce the costs of litigation.

Because of the motion, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has transferred Taxotere lawsuits to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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