Kendall v. Hoffman La Roche

VERDICT

Trial
04/03/08 – 04/22/08

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Play button overlay 45f08f27c7337d189e8c31e635b5d0a0781b273131135cd77ee8b6f12366e7a2

Summary

Kamie Kendall's colon was removed as a result of inflammatory bowel disease allegedly resulting from the use of the acne medication Accutane (Isotretinoin). Plaintiff attorney Mike Hook told the jury that Ms. Kendall's condition caused her "to go to the bathroom, with diarrhea and blood, anywhere from 5-20 times per day, and will for the rest of her life."

Mr. Hook argued that Accutane was a highly toxic drug developed as a chemotherapy, not an acne treatment, but that Roche did not adequately warn of known gastrointestinal risks, and that Ms. Kendall's treating dermatologist in fact did not know of the risks.

Butler Snow's Lee Thames, on behalf of Roche, argued that Accutane was one of the most effective acne treatments, and the warnings were adequate. Mr. Thames suggested that Mr. Hook had quoted the Accutane warnings without enough context, and advised the jury, "Look at the whole bloomin' document, before you decide something."

The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and awarded compensatory damages of $10.5M.

On August 5, 2010, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court issued an unpublished opinion vacating the judgment and remanding for a new trial so that Roche could provide quantitative information to the jury relating to the number of Accutane users and the background rate of IBD, to cast light on Roche's efforts to monitor the risk of harm.

The Appellate Division's reversal of Kendall v. Roche was for reasons very similar to the Appellate Division's prior reversal of another Accutane matter, McCarrell v. Hoffman-La Roche. In the subsequent McCarrell retrial, the plaintiff prevailed again.

For additional information, visit the CVN Blog.

Outcome

For plaintiff, $78k in unpaid medical bills, 10.5 million in compensatory damages.

Sessions

AM Session
Openings
3 Chapters
PM Session
Openings
3 Chapters
APR
3
AM Session
Defense Witness(es)
2 Chapters
APR
18
AM Session
Closings
4 Chapters
PM Session
Closings
4 Chapters
APR
21
AM Session
Verdict
1 Chapters
PM Session
Other
1 Chapters
APR
22

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