Yesterday’s revelation that actor James Marshall (A Few Good Men, Gladiator) had filed a lawsuit against Roche Pharmaceuticals because of side effects he claims he suffered as a result of using Accutane has taken a turn, as his case has been delayed. The reason for the pause is because of a New Jersey appeals court decision to overturn a verdict for a $10.5 million settlement from 2008.
Plaintiff Kamie Kendall was awarded the settlement two years ago, after her lawyers successfully argued that Roche had failed to substantially provide information regarding the side effects associated with the once-popular severe nodular acne medication. Kendall developed inflammatory bowel disease, she claimed, from using Accutane. IBD is a serious side effect that has been associated with the drug; however, the appeals court determined that Roche had been wrongfully blocked from providing evidence crucial to the pharmaceutical giant’s defense.
Marshall is similarly seeking $11 million for his own dealings with IBD. The actor had most of his colon removed because of the terrible gastrointestinal disorder, of which he blames Accutane and Roche. But the overturn of the decision for Kendall means that other cases may be reviewed for similar oversight, and future cases may be examined with newer scrutiny. More than 5,000 cases have accumulated against Roche, stemming from patients who have cited side effects including IBD, as well as Chron’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, liver and kidney diseases, and a number of psychological disorders.
Despite the overturned verdict in Kendall’s case, juries and judges have still awarded more than $45 million in settlements to victims of Accutane for the debilitating side effects they have suffered.