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Atlantic County Superior Court

In this matter, a jury heard the second trial of a plaintiff’s claim respecting the drug Accutane. The defendant denied all accusations that the plaintiff’s medical condition was caused by their product.

Since the age of 15, in the 1990s, the plaintiff Kamie Kendall R. was prescribed Accutane to treat her acne. In ________, the plaintiff was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a permanent, debilitating disease. The plaintiff was later forced to have her colon surgically removed. Accutane is a product of Hoffmann La-Roche Inc. and Roche Laboratories.

The plaintiff filed suit in the Superior Court of Atlantic County, New Jersey for product liability, accusing the defendant Hoffman-La Roche of failing to warn physicians of the risk of ulcerative colitis associated with its product. The plaintiff sought compensatory and non-compensatory damages for her medical bills and pain and suffering. The defendant denied the accusation.

In ________, an Atlantic County Superior Court awarded the plaintiff $10.5 million. That verdict was later overturned by the New Jersey Supreme Court, citing Judge Higbee’s not allowing the defendant to tell the jury how many took Accutane. Retrial began in January ________.

At that trial, the defendant disputed that their product caused either condition at issue, and if it did, that their label provided adequate warning to prescribing physicians. The defendant asserted that the plaintiff and her mother were both warned of the risks of Accutane as well. Finally, the defendant argued that the plaintiff’s family history included a history of gastrointestinal health problems and that the plaintiff’s condition could have been caused by extensive use of antibiotics prior to the use of their product. It also stated that in ________ or ________, the plaintiff was in the age group most likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease. After a day of deliberation, the jury found in a seven to one verdict that: Accutane was likely a substantial factor on patients developing ulcerative colitis, the defendant failed to adequately warn plaintiff and her prescribing doctor of a risk it knew or should have known of, and that this failure to warn was likely a substantial factor in plaintiff’s taking Accutane and subsequently her developing ulcerative colitis. The jury unanimously awarded the plaintiff $________ in past medical expenses (an amount the parties stipulated to) and $1.5 million for pain and suffering, for a total award of $________.

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