Accutane Compensation Award of $10.5M Reversed On Appeal

A $10.5 million verdict awarded in an Accutane lawsuit over inflammatory bowel disease has been reversed by a New Jersey appeals court, which ruled that Roche was wrongly prohibited from introducing evidence to the jury about the number of individuals who have used the popular acne medication over the years.

The ruling was issued on Thursday by the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division, reversing an Accutane compensation award issued in 2008 to Kamie Kendall, who developed severe bowel problems from Accutane side effects.

The appeals court remanded the Kendall case back for retrial, determining that the judge erred in not allowing Roche to present data on the number of Accutane users until the final stages of the trial. The decision marks the third time Roche has secured a retrial after a jury awarded compensation to a user of Accutane.

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Following a 2007 trial in New Jersey, Roche was able to successfully overturn a jury’s award of $2.62 million in damages for inflammatory bowel disease suffered by Andrew McCarrell. That case was later retried, and another New Jersey jury awarded McCarrell more than $25 million in Accutane compensation.

As a result of the recent decision by the New Jersey appeals court, Judge Carol Higbee has delayed the start of an Accutane trial that was slated to begin this week. The case includes a claim brought by actor James Marshall, who had to have his colon removed as a result of bowel problems from Accutane. Marshall was expected to call several Hollywood stars as witnesses at trial. No date has been set for when the trial will resume.

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 lawsuits for compensation over bowel problems. The pharmaceutical company has lost all seven lawsuits over Accutane bowel disease that have reached a jury so far, with verdicts totaling $56 million.


  • josephAugust 17, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    i was in hospital with boul problem 3 years ago

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