The trial of an Accutane lawsuit is scheduled to begin this week in New Jersey involving a case filed by a Hollywood actor who alleges that bowel problems caused by the acne drug resulted in the removal of his colon, destroying a promising movie career.
James Marshall, 43, who had starring roles in “A Few Good Men” and “Gladiator” in 1992, filed the lawsuit against Roche Holding AG, which manufactured Accutane. A number of well-known Hollywood stars are scheduled to testify on Marshall’s behalf at trial in New Jersey state court, including Martin Sheen, Brian Dennehy and Rob Reiner.
Marshall alleges that side effects of Accutane caused bowel problems, which ultimately led to the removal of his colon. His case will be tried together with two other plaintiffs who suffered similar bowel injuries after using Accutane to treat acne.
Accutane (isotretinoin) has been linked to an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which could lead to ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or other damage to internal organs. This has left many former users with severe stomach and gastrointestinal problems that cause a great deal of pain and can have a devastating impact on their quality of life.
Roche currently faces about 1,000 Accutane bowel lawsuits, which involve similar allegations that the drug maker failed to adequately warn users about the potential risk of injury. So far, the pharmaceutical company has lost all seven lawsuits over Accutane bowel disease that have reached a jury so far, with verdicts totaling $56 million.
In February, a jury in the same New Jersey court that will hear Marshall’s Accutane suit returned a verdict of $25.16 million to a single plaintiff who developed inflammatory bowel disease from Accutane. That plaintiff underwent five surgeries and also had his colon removed as a result of Accutane.
According to a report by Bloomberg News, a slate of Hollywood insiders are scheduled to testify about the potential for Marshall’s acting career, which was severely impacted by his bowel and colon problems.
The other plaintiffs involved in the trial include Gillian Gaghan, a 34 year old nursing assistant who developed lupus from drugs she needed to take to deal with her bowel problems from Accutane, and Kelley Andrews, a 29 year old account manager who also alleges she suffers inflammatory bowel disease from Accutane.