Legate & Associates and Harrison Pensa launch mass tort over acne drug Accutane
LONDON, ON, Feb. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - When Jennifer Twamley was prescribed
Accutane at 17 to control her acne, little did she know the long-term
impact the drug would have on her life.
Twamley, 33, now suffers from Ulcerative Colitis, an inflammatory bowel
disease (IBD), which lawyers Barb Legate of Legate & Associates and Dave Williams of Harrison Pensa say is a side effect of Accutane.
Twamley has undergone two surgeries, including removal of her colon.
"It's been devastating," says Twamley, whose career and lifestyle have
been drastically curtailed. "I wish I had never taken that drug. Having
a chronic illness is isolating."
Twamley, a television producer, is suing drug maker Hoffmann-La Roche
over Accutane in what is known as a mass tort, one of the first in
Canada involving the acne drug. The lawsuit was filed in the Ontario
Superior Court of Justice.
A mass tort is a group of lawsuits involving individuals who share
similar complaints as a result of their experiences with a drug or
defective product. Mass torts are common in the United States, where
Roche has already been successfully sued for millions of dollars in
connection with the manufacture and sale of Accutane. Roche stopped
selling Accutane in the United States in 2009 for business reasons, but
the drug is still sold in Canada.
Legate says Accutane has destructive side effects that many Canadians
weren't warned about. "We believe there are thousands of victims in
Canada who have been hurt by Accutane. We are seeking justice for
them." Williams adds, "Studies in the U.S. have found that Accutane is
linked to inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Ulcerative Colitis
and Crohn's disease."
"The sad thing is that many people who have developed a disease like
colitis or Crohn's don't realize that a common drug they were
prescribed as a teenager for their acne could be the likely cause. It
has had harsh consequences," he added.
According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, acne affects nearly
20% or 5.6 million Canadians. More than 80% of acne sufferers are
between the ages of 12 and 24.
The lawyers say the Twamley case is being put forward as the face of the
Accutane lawsuit and a test case for more than a dozen similar cases
they are preparing to file against the company. Legate says, "This case
will cast a light on the problem and we expect many other victims to
The lawsuit claims that that Hoffmann-La Roche was negligent because it
failed to warn the public that the drug could cause inflammatory bowel
Williams adds, "Accutane affects each person differently, so the harm
and damages they suffer varies widely. By choosing to bring a mass
tort, we believe the victims are well served as their medical damages
can be properly assessed on an individual basis."
Legate & Associates is a London, Ontario-based personal injury law firm that serves
Harrison Pensa is a full-service, 55-lawyer firm servicing southwestern, Ont., with
offices in London and Toronto.
Download videos for broadcast purposes:
Lawsuit Overview | MP4 | 332MB https://www.dropbox.com/s/t97qq7h6n18okqp/Overview_XBGM.mp4
Jennifer's Story | MP4 | 415MB https://www.dropbox.com/s/62ez9waitmclbq9/JennifersStory_XBGM.mp4
Legal Perspective | MP4 | 466MB https://www.dropbox.com/s/kr8vjlwyfs0idlh/Lawyers_XBGM.mp4
Video with caption: "Legate & Associates and Harrison Pensa launch mass tort over acne drug Accutane". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20130204_C2670_VIDEO_EN_23250.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20130204_C2670_PHOTO_EN_23250.jpg&clientName=MIddlemiss%20Publishing%20Corporation&caption=Legate%20%26%20Associates%20and%20Harrison%20Pensa%20launch%20mass%20tort%20over%20acne%20drug%20Accutane&title=MIDDLEMISS%20PUBLISHING%20CORPORATION%20%2D%20Legal%20team%20sues%20drug%20maker%20Hoffmann%2DLa%20Roche%20Limited%20over%20popular%20acne%20medicine&headline=Legal%20team%20sues%20drug%20maker%20Hoffmann%2DLa%20Roche%20Limited%20over%20popular%20acne%20medicine
SOURCE: HARRISON PENSA LLP
For further information:
Barb Legate, Legate & Associates: (519) - 672-1953
Dave Williams, Harrison Pensa: (519)-661-6782
Accutane Hotline: 1-888-557-0447