Accutane Victims Awarded Millions of Dollars

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UPDATED: Jun 29, 2022

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Written By: Jeffrey JohnsonUPDATED: Jun 29, 2022Fact Checked

Hoffman-LaRoche’s acne drug, Accutane, has been linked to serious and permanent injuries and has resulted in jury verdicts worth millions of dollars as more and more information about what LaRoche knew – and when they knew it – becomes known.   

Accutane Irritable Bowel Disease Lawsuits

One of the Accutane side effects is Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), and consumers suffering from the disease have been successful in a string of recent lawsuits:

  • In 2010, an Alabama man who filed a product liability lawsuit against Roche Holding AG, who manufacturers the acne medication drug Accutane, was awarded over $25 million after he developed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and had to undergo five surgeries – one to remove his colon.
  • In 2010, Actor James Marshall, known for his roles in Twin Peaks and A Few Good Men, sued the maker of Accutane because the drug allegedly caused him to develop IBD and he eventually had to have his colon removed – cutting short his acting career.
  • A 24 year old Utah woman’s doctor prescribed Accutane to help combat her persistent acne problems. The drug’s side effects caused problems with her bowels and she eventually had to have her colon removed. In 2008, a jury awarded her $78,500 for medical bills and $10.5 million for the pain and suffering she experienced.
  • Three Florida residents, all in their 20’s, who used Accutane to control their acne, developed a bowel disorder that led to serious complications. They filed a lawsuit alleging that the manufacturer knew about the side effects of the drug, but failed to warn them. In 2008, a New Jersey jury agreed and collectively awarded them nearly $13 million in damages.

These plaintiffs represent a fraction of Accutane users who have filed lawsuits against Hoffman-LaRoche because they developed IBD after using the medication.  If you, or anyone you love, is suffering from IBD after use of Accutane, contact an experienced attorney immediately.

Other Notable Accutane Side Effects

IBD is not the only side effect linked to the use of Accutane.  Accutane users across the country have reported a number of other serious side effects that have been linked to the medication:

  • Crohn’s disease: Accutane, introduced in 1982, has been linked to hundreds of cases of Crohn’s disease, a chronic, episodic, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the entire wall of the bowel or intestines. In 2007, a jury ordered Roche to pay $2.6 million to a man who developed Crohn’s disease after taking Accutane.
  • Depression: Accutane has also been linked to depression and suicide. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) revised the label of the drug in 2005 to include a warning that isotretinoin, an active ingredient in Accutane, causes risks of suicide and depression.
  • Birth defectsAccutane has allegedly been linked to thousands of cases of birth defects and miscarriages. Roche has acknowledged that birth defects may be a result of Accutane use. According to information on Roche’s website,,  “Accutane must not be used by female patients who are or may become pregnant. There is an extremely high risk that severe birth defects will result if pregnancy occurs while taking Accutane in any amount, even for short periods of time.”

Doctors Say They Weren’t Told About Dangers

Dermatologists who prescribed Accutane since the 1980’s have testified that they wouldn’t have prescribed the drug to patients had they known that Accutane side effects included IBD in the form of Crohn’s Disease (Crohn’s) or Ulcerative Colitis (UC) – both of which affect different parts of the colon – and can lead to possible colon replacement. So, why didn’t doctors know about these serious gastrointestinal issues? Lawyers say that’s because manufacturers never told them.

Roche was Dishonest About Accutane’s Side Effects & Risks

Accutane side effects and risks include birth defects, an increased risk of suicide and an increased risk of IBD. According to lawyers, it’s the latter to which juries have responded because the company allegedly:

  • covered up Accutane’s side effects
  • failed to warn consumers about those side effects
  • lied to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) about clinical trial data

Roche has been the defendant in thousands of lawsuits, and as more information about what the company knew comes to light, plaintiffs are receiving large settlements.  The fact that Roche was dishonest with consumers, doctors, and the FDA will come into play as more and more plaintiffs file lawsuits for injuries stemming from the use of Accutane.

Accutane Lawsuits

It is now estimated that over 5,000 individual Accutane lawsuits have been filed against Roche Pharmaceuticals. The acne medicine, which was sold for over 25 years, is no longer on the market.  Juries in several states across the nation have awarded millions of dollars to injured victims after hearing testimony that Roche failed to disclose safety information and warn consumers about Accutane’s side effects and risks.

Juries hearing Accutane lawsuits have consistently ruled in favor of plaintiffs who have been injured by the drug.   The company has been liable for over $85 million in damages to injured plaintiffs, and lawsuits are still ongoing.  If you took Accutane and developed a form of IBD that may affect you for the rest of your life, or have any of the other known side effects that are related to Accutane use, you owe it to yourself and your family to contact an Accutane attorney to find out whether you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

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