Was Expert Scientific Testimony Excluded in Accutane Litigation?

A New Jersey Appellate Division panel of Judges Fisher, Accurso, and Rose recently rendered a per curiam decision affirming a trial court’s decision to exclude several expert witnesses in litigation that consisted of thousands of cases filed by plaintiffs who alleged they developed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the form of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease as a result of their use of Accutane (isotretinoin).  

In 2015, the trial judge granted a defense motion to exclude two plaintiffs’ experts—a gastroenterologist and a statistician—from testifying that Accutane, a prescription acne drug manufactured by Defendants can cause Crohn’s disease. The Superior Court-Appellate Division reversed that determination, but the Supreme Court reversed the judgment and upheld the trial judge’s exclusion of the expert testimony of the two experts. 

In early 2017, the trial judge conducted a 10-day hearing and, for the reasons expressed in a thorough written opinion, granted Defendant’s motion to bar the expert testimony of another gastroenterologist (“G-2”) and an epidemiologist, about whether Accutane caused plaintiffs’ ulcerative colitis. An order identified the 3,231 claims that were dismissed as a result of that determination.   

Read more at ForensisGroup.