Taxotere cases wind their way through court as victims grapple with permanent hair loss
By Magdalena F. Gonzalez
Taxotere (of the average Taxotere case.
So far, the bellwether trials in the Taxotere litigation have not gone particularly well for the plaintiffs, as they have exposed evidentiary weaknesses and issues with proving causation. Nevertheless, thousands of plaintiffs are prepared to proceed with a trial eventually. Plaintiffs’ attorneys across the country are following the bellwether trials closely to get a better docetaxel) is a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast cancer. In 2016, mass tort product liability litigation commenced in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against the manufacturers of Taxotere. Plaintiffs claimed the manufacturers failed to warn the users of Taxotere that the drug causes permanent alopecia, or hair loss.
There are currently thousands of Taxotere plaintiffs across all 50 states with over 12,000 product liability claims against the original drug manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis. Taxotere, like all mass tort litigation, is proceeding through a centralized process whereby one judge presides over every case through a streamlined litigation process.
In 2015, Eastern District of Louisiana Judge Jane Margaret Triche Milazzo presided over the Taxotere litigation and issued an order stating the absence of a warning label for permanent alopecia constituted a “failure to warn” of a side effect of the drug. In December 2015, the manufacturers of Taxotere changed their labels to include a warning for the risk of permanent alopecia, thereby rendering moot any claims by plaintiffs treated with Taxotere after the warning label was changed.
To date, Judge Milazzo has selected three cases to proceed with sample trials called bellwether trials. The purpose of a bellwether trial is to gauge the strength of an average plaintiff’s evidence, as well as how jurors will react to that evidence. A bellwether trial can likewise have an influence on prospective settlement negotiations, as it can affect the perceived value understanding of an average plaintiff’s likelihood of success on the merits of their case. For a free case evaluation, click on the button below.