A Sanofi patient has asked the full Fifth Circuit to review the dismissal of her allegations the pharmaceutical giant failed to warn that its chemotherapy drug Taxotere carried a risk of permanent hair loss, arguing the panel ignored important testimony offered by her oncologist.
June Phillips requested en banc rehearing of her attempt to revive her failure-to-warn suit against Sanofi, saying in a petition filed with the court Monday that a Fifth Circuit panel’s opinion in April went against both Fifth Circuit and Louisiana state law precedent on warnings causation. Phillips claims the three-judge panel wrongly set aside testimony from her oncologist Dr. Scott Sonnier that, knowing what he knows now, he would’ve prescribed a different drug to treat her breast cancer.
The case’s record, she said, offers no basis for the panel’s rejection of her doctor’s testimony that an alternate chemotherapy drug would’ve been effective.
Phillips’ suit is part of multidistrict litigation in Louisiana, in which she and others allege that Taxotere caused permanent hair loss and that Sanofi failed to warn them of this possibility before they were administered the chemotherapy drug.
The claims in Phillips’ suit were dismissed in May 2020 following testimony from Sonnier, who said he was aware that permanent hair loss was a risk when prescribing Taxotere to treat her breast cancer, but that it was the best available medication because of her age and cardiac condition.
A Fifth Circuit panel upheld that dismissal in April, finding Phillips didn’t introduce sufficient evidence to suggest a connection between her injury and Sanofi’s alleged failure to warn of permanent hair loss.