The Taxotere Lawsuit Explained

Jun 21, 2023 | Defective Pharmaceuticals

Docetaxel, branded as Taxotere, is a chemotherapy drug patented by Rhone-Poulenc (now Sanofi) in 1986. In 2004, after Sanofi’s merger with Aventis Pharmaceuticals, the FDA approved Taxotere, a taxane-class drug that inhibits cell growth. 

Taxotere is primarily used to treat various cancers, especially breast cancer. By 2010, it had been administered to 1.5 million patients worldwide. This generated $3.1 billion annually.

However, the drug’s alleged serious side effects, like permanent hair loss and eye damage, unmentioned to patients, led to lawsuits. In 2016, lawsuits concerning hair loss were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) – unlike a class-action suit, an MDL groups individual lawsuits in one court for convenience but treat each case individually.

By 2022, an additional MDL was established for eye damage cases related to Taxotere. These MDLs, overseen by a single federal district judge, are currently heard in a Louisiana federal district court.

Our experienced defective pharmaceutical attorneys have diligently worked for people injured by Taxotere use during chemotherapy treatment. With extensive knowledge and the resources needed to take on pharmaceutical manufacturers, we’ve given victims a voice to demand accountability. 

Evaluating Your Taxotere Lawsuit Claim

Failure to warn, reliance on that failure, and causation are essential elements of a Taxotere permanent hair loss case. That’s a lot of Legalese, so let’s break it down.

Drug companies have a legal duty to warn customers about known side effects. Evidence indicates that Sanofli didn’t know about the Taxotere-permanent alopecia link until 2005 or 2006. Victims who took Taxotere and lost their hair before 2005 or 2006 are usually eligible to file lawsuits, thanks to the discovery rule. 

The discovery rule means that victims aren’t required to start a lawsuit until they understand how badly they’re hurt and can link these injuries to someone’s harmful actions. In this context, it refers to the time when victims connect their damages to Sanolfi’s failure to provide warnings.

Victims must also prove alternative drugs were an option but that they chose Taxotere because they didn’t know about the permanent alopecia risk.

The cause is usually the hardest element to prove in these cases. Taxotere isn’t the only cause of alopecia, and unfortunately, other common chemotherapy drugs could also cause permanent alopecia. 

Collecting Evidence

A mountain of evidence connects Taxotere with permanent alopecia. If our defective pharmaceutical lawyers rule out the other possible causes, the connection is almost impossible to disprove.

Before victims/plaintiffs prove cause, they must prove duty. Usually, an independent expert must establish the standard of care. Sanofli needed to put a warning in big, bold letters and not bury that warning in the fine print. 

Additionally, in most states, victims/plaintiffs must prove their medical bills and other economic losses were reasonable. An independent doctor must often provide this testimony.

Our Team Can Help You Navigate a Taxotere Lawsuit 

Personal injury lawsuits typically settle outside of court, but this process can be lengthy. Rushing may mean missing critical evidence and adequate compensation. Judges often assign independent mediators to facilitate negotiations, although success requires both parties’ willingness. Winning a dangerous drug case like Taxotere often leads to compensation for economic losses, emotional distress, and potentially punitive damages. Contact Williams Hart & Boundas LLP for expert legal advice on your Taxotere injury claim. The earlier we start, the better we can advocate for you.

Disclaimer: This material is provided for informational purposes only. The provision of this material does not create an attorney-client relationship between the firm and the reader and does not constitute legal advice. Legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and the contents of this newsletter are not a substitute for legal counsel. Do not take action in reliance on the contents of this material without seeking the advice of counsel.

The information contained in this blog may or may not reflect the most current legal developments. Accordingly, information in this blog is not promised or guaranteed to be correct or complete, and should not be relied upon as such. Readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.


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