When your eyes water uncontrollably, doctors refer to it as excessive tearing. Everyone experiences it, whether it occurs because of a cold or an eye injury. However, excessive tearing could indicate a serious and permanent issue called canalicular stenosis. Many cancer survivors developed the medical condition after using the chemotherapy drug, Taxotere, and they may be owed compensation, as a result.
The chemotherapy drug, Taxotere, is well known for treating breast cancer and other types of cancer, as well. A doctor administers it to their patient intravenously on a weekly, biweekly, or every three-week regimen. It’s been successful in treating various forms of cancer. However, medical researchers discovered a link between Taxotere and symptoms of canalicular stenosis.
If you’re suffering from consistently watery eyes and a steady stream of tears flowing down your face, you probably have trouble reading, driving, socializing, and living your life as you once did. Hotze Runkle PLLC can help you learn more about canalicular stenosis, your legal rights, and how the manufacturer of Taxotere may be liable for your diagnosis.
The seasoned attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC have the skills and resources needed to take on Taxotere’s pharmaceutical company, Sanofi-Aventis, and hold them responsible for the dangerous side effects of their drug. We’ll fight for the full compensation you need and deserve. Take our Taxotere Quiz today to get started.
How Excessive Tearing Develops
After performing studies, researchers found that when Taxotere travels through the body, it interacts with bodily fluids, such as tears. The direct contact between the tears and drug secretions leads to inflammation of tubes in the ocular cavity, called canaliculi. Chronic inflammation of these tubes causes an infection, which in turn can cause the tubes to become obstructed.
When the canaliculi, a vital eye structure, become obstructed or blocked, consistent eye-watering, or epiphora, can develop. The obstruction leads to a build-up of tears on the surface of the eye. Upon blinking, the tears get released from the eyes in large amounts, and it’s uncontrollable.
Breast cancer patients and survivors were outraged to discover the link between Taxotere and tears. The drug company, Sanofi-Aventis, didn’t disclose the dangerous side effects to the FDA. Instead, they chose to hide the potential harm and spent years marketing their product. Doctors administered the chemo treatment to their patients, utterly unaware of the damage Taxotere could cause.
If you don’t seek immediate medical care for your epiphora symptoms, it could turn into a severe diagnosis of canalicular stenosis. This occurs when the canaliculi obstructions progress to the point that the structures begin to close. Whether closure is partial or total, it results in irreversible damage.
The symptoms of canalicular stenosis can range from mild to severe. Some people experience one, while others experience all of them. The most common symptoms include the following:
- Light sensitivity
- Dry eyes
- Eyelid swelling
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Eye infections
- Cystoid macular edema
If you experience any symptoms of canalicular stenosis during or following your Taxotere chemotherapy treatment, it’s crucial that you let your doctor know right away, so they can prevent the symptoms from getting worse.
Managing the Symptoms of Canalicular Stenosis
DCR, dacryocystorhinostomy, is the only treatment available to help manage and ease symptoms of canalicular stenosis. It’s an invasive procedure where the ophthalmologist uses adjacent structures in the ocular and nasal cavities to create a new passageway for the tears to travel. Some patients need a stent placed where the damaged canaliculus is to facilitate the proper flow of tears. DCR allows tears to bypass the obstructed canaliculus and funnel into the nasal cavity.
The surgery isn’t painful. However, it’s expensive and is associated with many harmful side effects. Some of the risks you could potentially expose yourself to with DCR include:
- Hemorrhaging during and after surgery
- Permanent facial scarring
- Eye infections
- Tissue damage
- Migration of the stent
- Ineffective results
If the damage to one or both canaliculi is so severe that DCR isn’t possible, the doctor could perform CDCR. CDCR, conjunctivodacryocystorhinostomy, involves positioning a small glass tube called a Jones tube where the canaliculus was so the tears drain correctly.
You can continue chemotherapy treatments even after undergoing either procedure. If you want to manage your symptoms during chemo, you could get a temporary stent from your ophthalmologist. The stent would go in your ocular cavity to manage current symptoms and prevent the risk of developing additional symptoms. It would move your tears away from the closed canaliculus and into the nasal cavity. After your chemo concludes, you’ll need to wait six weeks before your doctor can remove it.
Can I Hold Sanofi-Aventis Liable for My Symptoms?
It’s likely your canalicular stenosis symptoms developed because of Taxotere. After Sanofi-Aventis developed the drug, they performed various trials on its effectiveness and side effects. During the studies, they learned it prolonged a patient’s life longer than other popular chemo drugs. Despite negative symptoms, Sanofi-Aventis marketed the drug for several years without notifying the FDA of those symptoms. The manufacturer prioritized profit over the safety of patients.
Current lawsuits handled by law firms around the country allege that the pharmaceutical company marketed and sold Taxotere without disclosing the debilitating side effects. Instead of providing appropriate warning labels, they hid the side effects from doctors and patients. It wasn’t until medical researchers learned of the link between Taxotere and canalicular stenosis that they finally released side effect warnings.
Pursuing Financial Compensation from Sanofi
You could pursue compensation from Sanofi-Aventis if you received Taxotere treatment for any form of cancer and experienced symptoms of canalicular stenosis. The statute of limitations in California to file a lawsuit is two years. A statute of limitations is the deadline for bringing legal action against another party. If you wish to sue Sanofi-Aventis, you only have two years from the date of your Taxotere injury.
When you file a lawsuit, you need to prove negligence on the part of the at-fault party. If you can’t prove negligence existed, you’ll have a difficult time convincing a judge or jury that you deserve a monetary award. To prove negligence, the following five factors must be true:
- The manufacturer owed a duty to its consumer;
- The manufacturer breached that duty;
- The breach of duty directly caused the victim’s injury;
- The injury happened because of the company’s failure, as opposed to another cause; and
- The injured party suffered damages.
Damages are economic and non-economic losses suffered as a result of someone’s negligence. The damages you’re entitled to claim in a lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses
- Emotional Distress
- Lost wages
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Pain and Suffering
The compensation you could receive depends on different factors, such as:
- The severity of your symptoms
- Duration of necessary treatment
- Visibility of your symptoms or related injury
- Availability of relevant evidence
- The total expenses resulting from the diagnosis
Is it Necessary to Hire a Lawyer?
You don’t have to hire a lawyer. If you wish to pursue your case alone, you have the right to do so. However, seeking legal representation could help you significantly maximize your financial award. There are strict deadlines, documents to submit, and arguments to prepare for trial. If you have never filed a lawsuit before, it can be a difficult road to navigate.
When you hire an experienced Los Angeles Taxotere lawsuit lawyer from Hotze Runkle PLLC, we’ll make sure everyone treats you fairly, and your rights are protected. We’ll fight for the justice you deserve so you receive the maximum compensation available.
It’s devastating to become the victim of a large corporation’s irresponsible decisions. You trusted Taxotere to treat your cancer and ended up with a new battle to deal with. You won’t have to go through this alone. We know you’re struggling emotionally and financially. It’s our goal to resolve your case efficiently so you can put this horrific situation behind you.
Speak to an Experienced Los Angeles Taxotere Lawsuit Attorney
At Hotze Runkle PLLC, we believe in providing superior customer service to our clients. To meet your goals, we will create an individualized approach to your case. When you hire us, we’ll come up with a plan that gets positive results and the compensation you need.
Our legal team is available 24/7 to fit everyone’s schedule. You won’t have to wait days or weeks for a callback for answers to your questions. We’ll keep you updated on your case throughout the process and inform you of significant developments.
Don’t worry about the financial obligations that come with meeting a new lawyer. We offer a free consultation to prospective clients so you can discuss your case without any risk or obligation. We’re happy to review the details of your situation and determine if pursuing a lawsuit is the best option for you. Take our Taxotere Case Evaluation Quiz to find out how we can help you.