The first Bellwether trial in the Taxotere multidistrict litigation (MDL) resulted in a defense verdict. What, if anything, does this mean for the approximately 11,000 other women who have lawsuits pending in the MDL?

Like many chemotherapy patients, the trial plaintiff, Barbara Earnest, lost her hair during treatment. Like the thousands of other women who have sued the manufacturers of Taxotere, Ms. Earnest’s hair never grew back. 

Ms. Earnest’s chemotherapy regimen, however, differed from many of the other women who suffered permanent hair loss after being treated with Taxotere. Ms. Earnest’s chemotherapy regimen consisted of several cycles of Adriamycin and Cytoxan followed by additional treatment cycles that included Taxotere. At trial, Defendants argued that it was this unique treatment regimen that caused Ms. Earnest’s hair loss. 

Although attorneys representing plaintiffs in the Taxotere MDL disagree with Defendants and believe Defendants’ arguments misled the jurors in the Earnest trial, even if that were not the case, the outcome of the Earnest trial cannot be viewed as representative of the thousands of other claims filed in the MDL by women who did not receive the unique chemotherapy regimen prescribed to Ms. Earnest.

Moreover, it appears the verdict may have been the result of the jury being improperly influenced by the Defendants’ attorneys’ repeated violations of the Court’s pretrial rulings. During the trial, the Judge agreed that Defendants’ attorneys violated her rulings and as a result, she provided curative instructions to the jury on three (3) separate occasions. Thus, the attorneys who represent Ms. Earnest are expected to seek to have the verdict overturned either at a new trial or on appeal.

Taxotere Litigation Lawsuit Takeaways

In short, the facts remain unchanged: 

  1. Multiple controlled and randomized clinical trials confirm that treatment with Taxotere (not Adriamycin or Cytoxan) causes permanent hair loss in a statistically significant number of women.
  2. The manufactures of Taxotere have known the results of these clinical trials for several years.
  3. Despite knowing the outcome of these clinical trials, the manufacturers of Taxotere failed to warn thousands of breast cancer patients and the doctors who treated them about the risk of permanent hair loss.

Thus, although the outcome of the Earnest trial is certainly a disappointment to the thousands of women who have filed similar lawsuits, the jury’s verdict in this single-plaintiff case with unique facts should not be viewed as indicative of the outcome of the approximately 11,000 other cases that are still pending before the Court.

Contact us For Taxotere Litigation

Have you or a loved one recently experienced hair loss as a result of using Taxotere? If so you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law office of Canepa, Riedy, Abele, & Fischer today for your free consultation!