Taxotere Eye Damage Suits Consolidated In Louisiana MDL


The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has sent 11 suits alleging Sanofi-Aventis US LLC’s chemotherapy drug damaged patients’ eyes to an MDL in the Eastern District of Louisiana, saying that’s the best venue to handle pretrial proceedings in the claims.

The JPML consolidated six cases, five in California and one in Arizona, and issued a conditional order bringing five additional cases into the fledgling MDL, over objections from Sanofi that there weren’t enough actions to warrant consolidation.

Plaintiffs in each of the cases allege that the chemotherapy drug Taxotere caused them to develop excessive watering, or epiphora, as a result of permanent damage to their tear ducts after treatment, and that Sanofi failed to warn them about this risk.

In December, plaintiff Jade Porter, whose suit was filed in the Northern District of California, pushed for consolidation, arguing that there are common questions among her and the other plaintiffs’ suits and that consolidation would best serve judicial efficiency.

Sanofi, which stood against consolidation, argued that, if the cases were to be consolidated, they should go to the Eastern District of Louisiana, given the significant overlap between the claims in these suits and those already consolidated in a hair loss MDL concerning Taxotere in that district.

The panel agreed, saying that although the injuries alleged in these actions are different from the other MDL, the litigation involves some of the same parties and counsel, and there may be some overlap in pretrial proceedings.

As such, U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo, who oversees the hair loss MDL, is in a unique position to guide the newly formed MDL to resolution.

Patrick O. Hotze of Hotze Runkle PLLC, representing Porter, said they’re looking forward to having Judge Milazzo hear the cases.


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