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Taxotere Lawsuit - January 2022

Last Updated: January 8, 2022

Receiving news of a cancer diagnosis is one of the most devastating things that can happen to ourselves or a family member. Thankfully, there are many options to treat cancer, even when it has spread or is at an advanced stage. One such option is Taxotere, a chemotherapy treatment used to treat several types of cancers, often when other options have failed. While Taxotere is a lifeline for some patients, pharmaceutical companies have a duty to warn patients about all side effects and possible outcomes before they make this crucial decision on their course of treatment. Thousands of people who have suffered permanent hair loss allege that Sanofi-Aventis, the producers of Taxotere in the United States, failed to warn them about this devastating side effect. There are now over 14,000 lawsuits filed against Sanofi, which claim that Sanofi did not do enough to make doctors and patients aware of the Taxotere alopecia (hair loss) risk.

Taxotere Lawsuit Update & News 2022

  • January 8, 2022 - MDL - 2740 Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation - The Honorable Judge Jane Triche Milazzo, New Orleans, LA.

An eagerly-awaited bellwether trial for the Taxotere hair-loss lawsuits took place at the end of 2021, resulting in a Louisiana judge finding in favor of Sanofi. This was a second bellwether trial (the first took place in 2019, which Sanofi also won). A bellwether trial is like a test trial, allowing the courts to see how future litigation might play out. While this was a disappointing result for claimants, it does not mean the fight for hair-loss compensation is over. Sanofi faces lawsuits in courts in New Jersey, Delaware, and California. The Mississippi Attorney General has also sued Sanofi over its marketing of Taxotere. After the second bellwether judgment, lawyers representing the 1000s of claimants against Sanofi maintain they are confident they can secure compensation for hair-loss victims. The woman whose hair-loss case was used for the bellwether trial, Elizabeth Kahn, plans to appeal the verdict. So, it’s clear that the fight for compensation and justice will carry on into 2022.

Taxotere Lawsuit

What Is Taxotere?

Taxotere is one of the brand names for docetaxel, a chemotherapy medication used to treat several types of cancers. Produced by Sanofi, Taxotere has been available for cancer treatment in the United States since the 1990s. Docetaxel is available as a generic medication, and it is produced by pharmaceutical companies other than Sanofi as well, with some other docetaxel drugs mentioned in the Taxotere hair-loss lawsuits. Docetaxel is normally administered through injection, targeting the cancerous cells and blocking them from reproducing. Docetaxel’s value is recognized, as it is listed as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization.

What Types of Cancer Does Taxotere Treat?

Taxotere is used to fight several types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and non-small-cell cancer. It is often used to treat advanced or metastatic cancers (cancers that have spread) and is often used in combination with other cancer drugs. In a class of drug known as mitotic inhibitors, Taxotere is normally used when other cancer treatments have failed.

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Taxotere Side Effects

Most people are aware that cancer treatments involving chemotherapy can have many unpleasant and dangerous side effects. Taxotere is certainly in that category. The Mayo Clinic lists over 100 different Taxotere side effects. Some of the common side effects of Taxotere include:

  • Bleeding gums, mouth sores
  • Diarrhea/black/tarry stool
  • Fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness & weakness
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Fluid retention & weight gain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Red skin, lesions, rash, nail changes
  • Eye irritation
  • Infections
  • Low platelet count
  • Joint pain, stiffness, swelling
  • Peripheral neuropathy (weakness in arms and feet)
  • Sore throat, ulcers
  • Hair loss/alopecia

The list above is not exhaustive and only shows a portion of the reported side effects of docetaxel/Taxotere treatment. However, it should be noted that the Mayo Clinic lists hair loss (alopecia) in its warnings of Taxotere side effects under “More Common”. This reflects studies that have shown around one in ten patients treated by Taxotere suffer irreversible hair loss. The fundamental argument in the Taxotere lawsuits is that Sanofi failed to warn patients and doctors of the significant chance of permanent hair loss after being treated with Taxotere.

Docetaxel Side Effects

Taxotere Recall

Taxotere has not yet been recalled in the United States. However, the extreme nature of the medication (in the sense of impact on patients’ outcomes) means there are often Taxotere safety concerns. For instance, there was an FDA Taxotere warning issued in 2014 due to the presence of ethanol (alcohol) in Taxotere treatment, which could have the undesired effect of leaving patients intoxicated. This was particularly problematic for those who, for various reasons, could not consume alcohol, and this issue caused the FDA to warn doctors using Taxotere. In a sense, such warnings are key to understanding claimants’ grievances in the Taxotere lawsuits. It is not that Taxotere is defective – it is a life-saving treatment for many cancer patients. Rather, the lawsuits simply allege that patients should have been given all the information of the Taxotere dangers, and that includes permanent hair loss.

Taxotere Lawsuit Settlements

Sanofi is facing over 14,000 lawsuits over failure to warn that its Taxotere cancer treatment could lead to permanent hair loss. So, it is possible that the company, which had revenue of approximately $40 billion in 2020, will want to settle claims out of court. While Sanofi executives were likely buoyed by the bellwether trial results, they may want to draw a line in the sand by paying compensation to hair-loss victims to avoid further trials. Claimants who have lost hair due to Taxotere may claim on the basis of mental distress, medical bills, and loss of earnings, all leading from Sanofi’s failure to warn of the risk of permanent alopecia. It’s not clear how much the Taxotere settlement amount might be, but claimants could expect significant sums given the devastation that results from permanent hair loss.

Taxotere Lawsuit Progress

As mentioned earlier, Sanofi has gained victory in two bellwether trials so far in the Taxotere lawsuits. However, Sanofi still faces 1000s of lawsuits from hair-loss victims. Bellwether trials are significant, as they usually involve claimants who are typical of the larger group involved in the lawsuits. However, it is not the end of the road – far from it. Sanofi can expect to face appeal trials in the coming months, and the bellwether judgment does not invalidate the claims of the other 1000s of lawsuits from those who suffered permanent hair loss as a result of being treated with Taxotere. Moreover, as more people join the Taxotere alopecia lawsuits, the pressure will grow on Sanofi, and the company may be forced to settle out of court. If you have been impacted by hair loss after being treated with Taxotere, you should contact a Sanofi hair loss lawyer for further advice on starting your claim.

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Taxotere Lawsuit Payouts

As with settlements, it can be difficult to estimate how much the Taxotere payout would be should the courts rule in favor of claimants. The lawsuits have been consolidated as a multidistrict litigation (MDL), where each claimant is treated separately in terms of payouts and compensations, even though some of the court proceedings are joined together for expediency. As such, the value of a Taxotere compensation payout will depend on individual circumstances, as well as the level of culpability found on behalf of Sanofi.

Taxotere Lawsuit Lawyers

Specialist Taxotere attorneys are calling for people to come forward to join the lawsuits against Sanofi, and lawyers already representing claimants believe that they will eventually secure victory, whether that is through a court judgment or an out-of-court settlement by Sanofi. Unfortunately, millions of Americans have been diagnosed with cancer in recent years, and a significant portion of them will have had Taxotere cancer treatment. As up to 10% of Taxotere patients end up with permanent hair loss, it means that many of those who suffered alopecia after Taxotere treatment have not yet filed a claim. If you believe you might qualify for compensation, you should contact a Taxotere law firm.

Taxotere Lawsuit Deadline

Many will be wondering if there is a deadline for a Taxotere lawsuit claim. This will require understanding the statute of limitations in your state. A statute of limitations is the amount of time that can elapse between an incident and filing a claim in court. In this case, it would likely be the time you discovered the hair loss caused by Taxotere, although there can be other measurements. Moreover, the statute of limitations can vary – both in length and specification – by state. So, if you have a Taxotere hair loss claim, it is important you speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer to advise you on the Taxotere lawsuit deadlines. You can get a free Taxotere case review to get started, which will give you expert advice and the tools to carry forward your compensation claim if you qualify.

Is Taxotere Lawsuit A Class Action Lawsuit or Mass Tort Lawsuit?

Due to the huge number of claimants against Sanofi, the Taxotere lawsuits have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation. This is designed to speed up the process in the courts, allowing judges to hear broader evidence and arguments rather than a separate hearing for each individual case. MDLs are a type of mass tort, so the Taxotere lawsuit is not a class action. The latter is usually reserved for mass consumer cases, usually due to a defective product, with compensation shared equally among claimants. While class actions and mass tort cases share some qualities, it is important to note that each claim is judged on its own merit in mass tort. So, in your claim against Sanofi, your compensation would depend on the level of injury caused by Taxotere and personal circumstances.

Taxotere Lawsuit Compensation Payment

The amount of financial compensation you would receive should the Taxotere lawsuits be successful will depend on a number of factors. A Taxotere compensation payment amount would depend on your personal circumstances, i.e., the level of injury, including emotional distress caused by hair loss, caused by Taxotere, as well as other factors like loss of earnings and medical bills. When evaluating Taxotere compensation payments, the level of culpability on the part of Sanofi and the weight of evidence against the company would also be factored in to the calculation. To get an idea of how much compensation you could receive for your Taxotere hair loss claim, connect with a Taxotere lawyer for a free evaluation of your case.  

Taxotere Lawsuit FAQs

Is there a lawsuit against Taxotere?

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of Taxotere cancer treatment drugs, Sanofi-Aventis. The claimants allege that Sanofi failed to warn them that there was a significant risk of permanent hair loss (alopecia) after receiving Taxotere treatment.

What happened to the Taxotere lawsuit?

The Taxotere lawsuits are still ongoing. There have been two bellwether (test) trials, which saw judges ruling in favor of Sanofi. However, this has not stopped the legal action against Taxotere manufacturers. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Sanofi, and many more claimants could join the Taxotere lawsuits in the near future.

What drug company makes Taxotere?

Taxotere, which is a brand name for docetaxel, is made by Sanofi-Aventis (Sanofi AS), a multinational pharmaceutical company that trades as Sanofi U.S. in America. Other companies produce the generic form of docetaxel used for cancer treatment.

Can Taxotere cause lung damage?

There are many side effects associated with Taxotere, and this includes breathing and lung-related side effects. Unfortunately, cancer patients face a difficult choice when selecting treatments like Taxotere, as severe side effects are very common. However, while the Taxotere lawsuits acknowledge this, there is, nonetheless, an obligation for companies to make cancer patients aware of all the possible side effects, which Sanofi failed to do with regards to permanent hair loss.

What is the alternative to Taxotere?

There are Taxotere alternatives, including Abraxane. However, we are not medical professionals, and any cancer treatment options should be discussed with your doctor.

When will the Taxotere lawsuit be settled?

It is not yet clear when we will see a Taxotere settlement by Sanofi. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted many legal proceedings, but we will likely see movement in the lawsuits in 2022.

Is Taxotere still used?

Yes, Taxotere is still used to treat cancer in the United States and other countries. A Taxotere recall is not likely, as it remains – for some cancer patients – the best chance of beating the disease.

How bad is Taxotere?

Taxotere is not bad, in and of itself. It is a life-saving drug, described as an essential medicine by WHO. The basis of the Taxotere lawsuits takes no issue with its use as a cancer treatment. Rather, the lawsuits allege that its producer, Sanofi, failed to warn cancer patients about all the side effects, most notably permanent hair loss. 

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© Copyright Jazz Media Ltd. 2021. All rights reserved

About us

We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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