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Taxotere (Docetaxel) is a chemotherapy drug that is used to treat breast cancer. Right now there are approximately 1500 cases filed against the maker of Taxotere. The cases are before Chief US District Court Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt in New Orleans in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The case name is MDL 2740, In re Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation.  MDL means Multi District Litigation.

Were you (or a loved one) a female patient treated with Taxotere or Docetaxel for breast cancer? If your hair doesn't look like it did before you were treated with Taxotere you may be entitled to compensation.

If you have taken Taxotere as part of chemotherapy treatment, it is vital that you know that there are lawsuits against its manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis, Inc.  Attorneys claim that if the manufacturer had properly warned of the risks, patients would have been prescribed a different chemotherapy drug called Taxol, which is more effective than Taxotere, and does not result in permanent hair loss. The lawsuit alleges that Sanofi-Aventis failed to warn doctors and patients about the increased risks of permanent hair loss. All cases filed in federal court have been consolidated before one federal judge in New Orleans under a process known as multi-district litigation.

I am here to provide to you an understanding about the science, side effects and legal actions surrounding Taxotere. If you have used Taxotere, we encourage you to contact us for a free case evaluation.

Why Are Taxotere Lawsuits Being Filed

There are many different types of cancer and lets face the facts, cancer sucks. Thankfully, years of research mean that many forms are curable and thousands of lives are saved each day.

However, the medications used to treat cancer can have serious, dangerous, and life-changing consequences and lawyers are fighting to hold the manufacturers liable.

Taxotere Does Irreversible Damage

Taxotere, which also goes by the name docetaxel, has been available to doctors on the U.S. market since 1996. The drug, which is a form of chemotherapy manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, was initially approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat breast cancer. It is now also used to treat non-small cell lung cancer, stomach cancer, neck cancer, and prostate cancer.

So Why Are Lawsuits Being Filed?

For Taxotere, the known side effects include:

  • anmenia
  • bones and joint pain
  • color changes to the nails
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • fluid retention
  • nausea
  • numbness in the fingers and toes
  • sores 
  • weakness

The FDA did release a Black Box warning, which informed the medical community and the public that the drug could cause kidney damage, low blood pressure, anaphylaxis, and toxic death.

These side effects are not uncommon for any chemotherapy medication and doctors were generally aware that these could occur because they are included on the drug's warning label. However, another, more permanent side effect was not on the product's warning label – alopecia universalis.

What is Alopecia Universalis?

Most people know that if chemotherapy administered, there is a chance that the patient will lose all of their hair. Normally, hair begins to grow back once chemotherapy has been stopped, within weeks. In patients that were given Taxotere, almost 10% ended up with alopecia universalis, which means that their hair simply never grew back. This can impact the:

  • Head
  • Eyelashes
  • Eyebrows
  • Underarms
  • Genitals

While some may argue that hair loss isn't a big deal, studies have shown that alopecia is linked to poor body image, anxiety, and depression and can seriously impact how an individual functions socially, sexually, and in the workplace.

Taxotere Lawsuits

In the numerous lawsuits filed against Sanofi-Aventis, plaintiffs are alleging that the company:

  • failed to properly test the drug
  • placed it on the market before the proper tests were done
  • failed to label the risks of using the drug on the product
  • was negligent by not informing the public and medical community of all risks associated with using the drug
  • of misleading patients with their marketing
  • of creating a dangerous drug, and
  • of concealing known information about the drug from the public

The lawsuits report that Sanofi-Aventis sponsored a study called the GEICAM study in the 1990's, which showed by 2005 that the drug could cause permanent hair loss. Plaintiffs are also claiming that the company chose to warn doctors in other countries about the risk the drug posed to their patients, but not in the U.S.

MDL Motion

On July 22nd, 2016, a motion was filed for the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation requesting that all Taxotere lawsuits be consolidated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Louisiana.

The purpose of an MDL is to join together all lawsuits that have similar questions of fact in an effort to prevent duplicate discovery and save everyone involved, including the courts, time, and money.

On October 5th, 2016, the request was granted all federally-filed lawsuits were moved to Louisiana under Judge Lance M. Africk.

Does This Mean New Lawsuits Can't Be Filed?

No, this doesn't mean that new lawsuits can't be filed – in fact, new lawsuits are being filed regularly and the ongoing litigation is expected to grow rapidly.

How Much Will It Cost?

We understand that you are likely already suffering from severe financial loss. This is why we work on what is known as a contingency fee. That means that our fees come directly out of the compensation that we obtain for you.  If we don't win, we don't get paid. 

Simple questions to see if you are eligible for compensation
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Schedule a Consultation

When you're ready to take the next step you can begin the process online. If you'd like to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation in my office you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 212-233-0666.