More than 325,010 Americans are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Fortunately, many of these cases are treatable, but treatment comes at a cost. For many women, one of the most difficult physical and emotional costs of cancer treatment is hair loss.
Temporary alopecia is a common side effect of chemotherapy. However, some breast cancer patients treated with Taxotere have suffered permanent alopecia and other serious side effects.
Alledging that the manufacturer withheld information about these risks, thousands of patients have filed suit.
If you’re among them, you might wonder, “When will the Taxotere lawsuit be settled?” Find the answers you need here.
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Three Important Things to Know about the Taxotere Lawsuit
The first Taxotere lawsuits were filed in March of 2016.
These cases alleged that Taxotere’s manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis, not only failed to warn patients of the risk for permanent alopecia. According to the plaintiffs, Sanofi-Aventis actively conspired to conceal this risk.
Since then, cases have also identified the ocular condition of canalicular stenosis as another unpublicized risk.
So where do these cases stand? Three key developments offer indications of their progress.
The Taxotere Lawsuit Has Been Consolidated As a Multidistrict Litigation
As of 2020, more than 12,500 Taxotere lawsuits have been filed. With so many suits, the case qualifies for multidistrict litigation or MDL.
MDL aims to increase efficiency when several similar lawsuits are filed. Under MDL, cases remain independent. However, a single judge is appointed to oversee all of them.
This move suggested the court aimed to handle Taxotere litigation more swiftly.
To Date, Though, Only One Taxotere Permanent Hair Loss Lawsuit Has Been Brought to Trial
In September 2019, the U.S. District Court dismissed one woman’s claim that Taxotere caused permanent baldness. In early 2020, the court refused to grant a new trial in that case.
This first case, like a handful of others awaiting their day in court, is important. Early cases are selected as bellwethers. Bellwether cases aim to test the relevance and admissibility of evidence. They also provide an indication of how juries will respond.
In these ways, early cases can influence the outcome of future cases. If early cases fail, the defendant’s incentive to settle remaining cases declines. In contrast, if bellwether plaintiffs prevail, future plaintiffs can expect more lucrative Taxotere lawsuit settlements.
In the single bellwether case thus far, Sanofi-Aventis prevailed. Nevertheless, it remains one case. Four additional bellwethers are set for trial in the coming months.
Their outcomes will provide a better indication of future chemo lawsuit cases.
Despite Coronavirus Restrictions, Litigation Continues
The coronavirus pandemic delayed many legal proceedings, including Taxotere lawsuit progress. Still, 2020 has produced a few key developments.
The first two favor the pharmaceutical company. However, the third gives hope to the plaintiffs.
In May, the judge overseeing the Taxotere MDL dismissed 200 lawsuits. She argued that, as early as 2015, the drug’s warning label identified permanent hair loss among possible side effects.
Then, on November 2, the judge denied a plaintiff’s motion to exclude the testimony of a Sanofi-Aventis witness.
Still, the most recent development this year favors the plaintiffs. On November 11, a Pennsylvania judge allowed a whistleblower’s suit to proceed in federal court. This suit alleges that the manufacturer relied on false advertising and a kickback scheme to promote the drug.
Importantly, this trial is separate from patients’ allegations. However, it could significantly impact Sanofi-Aventis’ public and legal standing.
When Will the Taxotere Lawsuit Be Settled?
Considering the above developments, when will the Taxotere lawsuit be settled?
Various factors influence the length of litigation. These include the circumstances of the particular case. They also include factors outside of the plaintiffs’ control, such as backlogs in court. Currently, they also include the restrictions imposed by a global pandemic.
If you’ve suffered harm from chemo treatments, though, no circumstances should prevent you from seeking justice.
Experienced Taxotere lawsuit lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. Count on them to craft the best approach, just like you count on our blog for the best advice.