Taxotere Attorneys, Plaintiffs, And Defendants
Taxotere MDL Slated for September 2018 Bellwether Trial.
The mounting allegations against the breast cancer treatment drug, Taxotere, will be tested in a bellwether trial scheduled in the Eastern District of Louisiana beginning on September 24, 2018.
Bellwether cases are held to provide the Taxotere attorneys, plaintiffs and defendants with some expectation of the outcome in situations where there are a large number of related lawsuits that have been consolidated in MDLs. There are approximately 1,272 lawsuits that have been filed against Sanofi-Aventis related to permanent hair loss in breast cancer patients that are currently pending.
Taxotere is one of the Taxane variety of drugs developed from the yew tree and used in a variety of chemo therapies. It works by preventing cancer cells from dividing. The manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis first obtained approval for Taxotere as a treatment for breast cancer in 1996. The MDL centers around the allegations/claims by plaintiffs that Sanofi-Aventis promoted Taxotere as more effective than a competing drug known as Taxol.
Hair loss is a known and accepted side effect of chemotherapy, injured women claim that Sanofi-Aventis the drug maker provided false and misleading information that suggested hair regrows after Taxotere treatment. Had Taxotere been the only option the women had perhaps they would have accepted the hair loss risk; however a 2008 New England Journal of Medicine study showed that Taxol was as effective as or more effective than Taxotere.
As such, the MDL plaintiffs claim that if they had been warned about this risk, they would have chosen other breast cancer treatments that have been shown to be just as effective, yet do not carry the same permanent hair loss problems.
If the Taxotere attorneys, plaintiffs, and defendants are unable to reach agreements to settle Taxotere lawsuits, the bellwether trials will proceed to allow the parties to gauge the relative strengths and weaknesses of their cases.
According to a case management order (PDF) issued on July 21, 2017 the first trial is expected to begin in September 2018. However, Judge Engelhardt has ordered the parties to meet with a magistrate judge for a Taxotere settlement conference by June 29, 2018. The order also requires the Taxotere attorneys and their plaintiffs to submit a Joint Confidential Status Report by July 6, 2018.
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