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Mass Tort Judge Signals Settlement in Taxotere Hair Loss MDL

elegraphing that there will be a settlement in Taxotere chemo drug products liability litigation, the judge in the mass tort docket ordered plaintiff attorneys to file information about all pending and anticipated claims "so that "claimants may have the opportunity to participate in any eventual resolution process."

US District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt directed Pretrial Order No. 60 to the Plaintiff's Settlement Committee that he appointed shortly after the multidistrict litigation docket was created last October 2016.

To date plaintiffs have filed 1,624 lawsuits in MDL 2740, IN RE: Taxotere (Docetaxel) Products Liability Litigation, in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Hundreds of additional cases may exist.

Total, permanent hair loss

Taxotere is manufactured by Sanofi. However, half of the cases in the MDL involve generic and quasi-generic manufacturers, whose products obtained FDA approval under 21 USC Sec. 505(b)(2) and not through the more traditional generic approval under 21 USC Sec. 505(j).

The plaintiffs charge that they experienced total, permanent hair loss following treatment with the chemotherapy drug. While Taxotere was first approved to treat breast cancer in 1996, it wasn’t until December 2015 that mention of permanent alopecia (hair loss) was included on the drug’s U.S. label. t is true that alopecia is a common side effect of chemotherapy.

Temporary alopecia is a common side effect of chemotherapy, but permanent, disfiguring hair loss is not.

Attorneys have until October 16 to file spreadsheets that include the plaintiffs':

  • Name and date of birth.
  • City and state where docetaxel was ingested.
  • Facility where docetaxel was administered.
  • Start and stop date of docetaxel use.
  • Name of manufacturer.
  • Filing state, jurisdiction and case number.

The information must be updated quarterly to BrownGreer’s MDL Centrality program, which is a custom-built platform designed specifically to streamline the exchange of information in MDLs and other mass tort cases. 

The Plaintiff's Settlement Committee will use the data to analyze the strength of the cases in furtherance of a settlement. "Should this litigation advance to the point where a resolution program is underway, the Court may then address methods and vehicles for Responsible Attorneys and Covered Individuals to provide similar information to the Defendants for their review, analysis and verification," Judge Engelhardt says.

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