A Birmingham-area man won a $25.16 million verdict recently against Roche Holding AG, a Swiss drug maker, after proving that the company’s acne medicine led to inflammatory bowel disease. Andrew McCarrell, 38, won his case against Roche in state court in New Jersey, where a company unit that produced the drug Accutane is based. This was the second trial of the man’s case. An appeals court ordered the new trial after overturning a $2.62 million award McCarrell won in May 2007.
McCarrell is a computer technician who has lived in the Birmingham area for about 15 years. He testified he got sick after taking Accutane in 1995. He has had five surgeries, including one to remove his colon. In addition to this verdict, six former Accutane users have won verdicts worth $56 million. All claimed Roche failed to warn of the drug’s risks. Roche stopped selling Accutane last year. Currently, Roche faces almost 1,000 other cases.
McCarrell was a vibrant healthy man until he started taking this drug. A year after he started taking it, he had his colon removed. He had to go to the bathroom ten to 20 times a day and suffers from massive gastrointestinal upset. He and his wife are living day by day. Mr. McCarrell’s lawyer said Roche had internal documents that said Accutane caused inflammatory bowel disease and did not tell anyone. In a statement, the company says it will appeal. Michael Hook, a very good lawyer from Pensacola, Florida, represented the Plaintiff and did an outstanding job.
Source: Birmingham News
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