Actor Claims Accutane IBD Ended Career

Actor John Marshall has filed suit against Roche AG, the maker of Accutane. The 43-year-old Marshall, who played U.S. Marine Louden Downey in the 1992 hit movie “A Few Good Men,” claims he developed inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, from taking Accutane. The disease, Marshall alleges, ruined his acting career.

Marshall’s Accutane lawsuit is scheduled for trial next week. According to, it promises to be a star-studded affair. Fellow actors Martin Sheen, Brian Dennehy and Esai Morales, along with director Rob Reiner, are scheduled to testify on Marshall’s behalf. They will attest to Marshall’s potential as an actor prior to his development of IBD, his lawyer said.

According to his lawsuit, doctors were forced to remove Marshall’s colon because of his alleged Accutane injuries. He claims Roche failed to warn patients that the drug could cause IBD in some users.

Marshall’s case has been combined with claims by two other former Accutane users for trial before Judge Carol Higbee in state court in Atlantic City, Bloomberg said.

Approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1982, Accutane has been the subject of controversy for years. It first garnered attention in the late eighties for causing severe birth defects. It has also been known to cause Accutane emotional side effects, and has been linked to hundreds of cases of suicide in the United States. Accutane has also been associated with problems of the liver, kidneys, central nervous system, and pancreas, as well as the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and auto-immune systems.

Last summer, Roche decided toinitiate Accutane recall for economic reasons. In announcing the decision, Roche cited the high cost of product liability suits involving the drug as one of the factors in the decision.

According to Bloomberg, Roche has lost all seven Accutane cases that have been considered by juries since 2007, including the last three in a row. Juries in New Jersey and Florida ordered the drug maker to pay a total of at least $45 million in damages in those cases. However, appeals courts later threw out two of the verdicts, including a 2007 award of $7 million to a Florida man who blamed the drug for IBD.

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