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New Jersey Jury Awards $12.9 Million to Three Patients Whose Use of Roche Acne Medication Accutane Found to Cause Severe Bowel Illness
Date:11/20/2008

Three Florida residents took Accutane as teens, developed inflammatory bowel disease; Plaintiffs represented jointly by law firms Hook Bolton; Seeger Weiss; and Beggs & Lane

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In another major courtroom verdict linking powerful acne medication Accutane with long-term inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), an eight-person jury in Atlantic City has found that pharmaceutical maker Hoffman-LaRoche (OTCQX: RHHBY; VTX: ROG.VX) failed to provide adequate warning of the possible condition to three patients who began taking the drug as teenagers and shortly thereafter developed severe forms of IBD. The jury awarded compensatory damages of $12.89 million to be apportioned among the three individuals, now aged in their mid-to-late 20s.

The verdict capped a five-week trial in New Jersey State Superior Court and follows a series of recent plaintiffs' wins here and in other state courts against Nutley, NJ-based Roche over allegations that Accutane was a cause of severe bowel maladies, in some cases even after the plaintiffs discontinued use of the drug.

The three plaintiffs are all Florida residents -- Kelly Mace, 25, of Pensacola, along with Jordan Speisman, 27, of Gainesville, and Lance Sager, 28, of Ft. Lauderdale. All were first prescribed Accutane nearly a decade ago while still in their teens to relieve adolescent acne. All three succumbed to various forms of IBD, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, while taking Accutane or shortly thereafter. Mr. Speisman is expected to shortly undergo surgical removal of his colon; Ms. Mace and Mr. Sager will rely on medications in an effort to manage their disease in the future. As a result of their disease, all suffer from a dramatic increased risk of colon cancer.

Roche first advised physicians about a possible association between Accutane and inf
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SOURCE Seeger Weiss LLP
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