Accutane Ulcerative Colitis Lawsuit: $2M Awarded for Acne Drug Side Effects

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In the latest Accutane lawsuit verdict reached against Roche, a New Jersey jury has awarded $2 million to a woman who developed ulcerative colitis after using the drug. The jury concluded that the drugmaker was responsible for her injuries as a result of their failure to warn about Accutane side effects. To date, more than 3,000 Accutane lawsuits have been filed against Roche.

Accutane Lawsuit Update 7/2/12: Last month, pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding AG was ordered to pay a total of $18 million to settle a pair of lawsuits claiming that Accutane caused the plaintiffs’ inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The company has now lost nine of 13 lawsuits brought by former Accutane users that have gone to trial since April 2007. Click here to learn more.

What’s the problem?

April 14, 2011 – In a high profile case that garnered massive media attention, a woman who developed ulcerative colitis after taking Accutane was awarded $2 million in damages against pharmaceutical giant Roche. Plaintiff Gillian Gaghan reportedly developed severe gastrointestinal damage that led to ulcerative colitis after taking the acne medication. The New Jersey jury found Roche responsible as a result of the company’s failure to warn about the risk of Accutane side effects.

The trial drew significant media attention due to three Hollywood icons who testified on behalf of another plaintiff named in the suit. Martin Sheen, Brian Dennehy, and Rob Reiner testified on behalf of former actor James Marshall, who claimed his acting career had been cut short after he had his colon removed because of Accutane. The jury ultimately decided that the acne medication was not a factor in the development of his injuries because of a pre-existing medical condition.

Accutane has long been associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and many other severe stomach and gastrointestinal problems. To date, more than 3,000 individuals have filed lawsuits against Roche and generic Accutane manufacturers alleging that they suffered from these conditions because of the companies’ failure to warn about potential side effects.

Accutane Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in which the lining of the digestive tract becomes severely inflamed, leading to a number of extremely serious gastrointestinal side effects. The inflammation associated with the condition affects the innermost lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Signs and symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • rectal bleeding
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