Texas Lawyer reports that there were more than 40 applications filed for lead roles in the Taxotere liability multidistrict litigation (MDL) and last week Louisiana Eastern District Chief Judge Kurt Engelhardt was scheduled to name the lead counsel.
Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast, lung, prostate, stomach, and head and neck cancer. The pharmaceutical company Sonafi SA is accused of illegally, untruthfully marketing its cancer drug Taxotere as superior to similar competing drugs, while concealing that the drug caused permanent hair loss.
According to Texas Lawyer, almost 200 cases have already been filed specifically by breast cancer patients, but plaintiffs’ lawyers anticipate thousands of women who have suffered unexpected permanent alopecia as a result of taking Taxotere to become a part of this litigation.
Law360 reported a complaint filed in California by one plaintiff, Ami Dodson, reads: “Defendants [preyed] on one of the most vulnerable groups of individuals at the most difficult time in their lives. Defendants obtained billions of dollars in increased revenues at the expense of unwary cancer victims simply hoping to survive their condition and return to a normal life.”
Among the concerns being presented during the MDL leadership selection process is the presence – or lack thereof – of female attorneys. Although the alleged permanent hair loss side effect applies to both men and women who used Taxotere, the issue arguably is more traumatic for women.
“This litigation calls out for women involvement because it is so related to women’s health and women’s-related issues,” Karen Barth-Menzies, who is co-chairwoman of the American Association for Justice’s Taxotere litigation group, told Texas Lawyer.
Another female attorney told the publication she feels that both slates “should be expanded and diversified to better reflect both the lawyers pursuing these cases and the victims they represent.”