Did you or a loved one suffer severe side effects involving your eyes, including canalicular stenosis or epiphora, as a result of the chemotherapy drug Taxotere? If so, the Maryland Taxotere attorneys of Hotze Runkle PLLC are ready to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve from the drug manufacturer.
Taxotere was designed to prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading throughout the body. Prescribed mainly for breast cancer, it’s also useful in the treatment of other diseases, including stomach, head, neck, prostate, and lung cancer.
Cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in an individual’s body. It develops as a result of specific mechanisms failing. Old cells that don’t die end up growing uncontrollably, forming new cells with abnormal compositions. Taxotere attacks those abnormal cells to prevent any growth or further reproduction. Although successful in treating cancer, studies show various adverse side effects from the chemo drug.
Recent developments highlight the potential dangers of taking Taxotere and the symptoms that could develop. In thousands of lawsuits filed against Sanofi, breast cancer survivors and their families alleged that the manufacturer knew about the possible symptoms, but failed to disclose them.
Many personal injury law firms, including the attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC, are going up against the multi-billion dollar company for their role in knowingly manufacturing a drug that causes harmful reactions. The early marketing campaigns failed to warn doctors and consumers about the drug’s dangerous side effects.
If you or your loved one received a diagnosis of epiphora, canalicular stenosis, or other related conditions, take our quiz here to find out if you qualify for compensation.
What is Epiphora?
Epiphora causes excessive watering of the eye. It develops when an infection causes a blockage to the tear duct and creates excess tears that exit the eyes uncontrollably. Additional symptoms this medical condition could cause include:
- Enlarged blood vessels
- Eye redness
- Sharp pains
- Swollen eyelids
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
- Eye soreness
It may seem like a minor nuisance, but for those suffering from epiphora, it negatively impacts their daily routine. Any activity that requires the use of your eyes is affected. Activities requiring the use of your eyes are difficult to perform. Reading, applying makeup, and driving are just a few examples of tasks that become difficult because of this symptom.
With early intervention by an ophthalmologist, it’s something you could easily treat and manage. A topical steroid or eye drops could relieve any inflammation and relax the muscles that caused the tear ducts to close.
Can Epiphora Heal on its Own?
Epiphora caused by allergies or the common cold usually resolves on its own. However, experiencing this symptom after undergoing Taxotere treatment could indicate something more serious.
If left untreated, it could develop into a medical condition known as Canalicular Stenosis. Structures in the eye called canaliculi become infected, causing the tear duct to partially or fully close. When that happens, it’s most likely permanent and irreversible.
Symptoms of canalicular stenosis range from mild to severe, and include the following:
- Excessive eye-watering (epiphora)
- Blurred vision
- Decreased central vision (cystoid macular edema)
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye irritation and infection
- Eyelid swelling
- Dry eyes
Experiencing any of these symptoms on their own is irritating enough. For anyone affected by them, it puts a considerable strain on your life. You could lose your job if your duties require the use of heavy machinery or dangerous tools. You might need someone to drive you everywhere or complete your household chores.
Monitoring your symptoms with the help of an ophthalmologist is essential in preventing long-term problems from developing. You could continue chemo treatment as long as a specialist regularly checks your epiphora or Canalicular Stenosis to ensure it doesn’t get worse.
How Does Taxotere Cause Epiphora and Canalicular Stenosis?
A doctor administers Taxotere intravenously during chemotherapy treatment. It travels through the patient’s body and interacts with bodily fluids, such as urine, feces, and tears. Medical researchers found that the direct contact between tears and secretions of the drug causes inflammation to the tear duct.
When consistent inflammation occurs, it leads to infection and subsequently blocks tears from funneling through the canaliculus. When the tears can’t correctly travel to the nasal cavity, they get forced out of the eyes.
In more severe cases of canalicular stenosis, obstructions lead to complete closure of the canaliculi. Once the canaliculi close, it’s impossible to reopen them. The only possible solution is an invasive and expensive ocular procedure called DCR.
Can DCR Cure Canalicular Stenosis?
The short answer: no. Unfortunately, canalicular stenosis is a permanent diagnosis that doctors can’t reverse. However, DCR could prevent unruly symptoms from occurring. DCR, dacryocystorhinostomy, is a surgery performed to create a new passageway for tears to pass into the nasal cavity.
The doctor makes an incision under the eyelid, between the nose and eye, to expose the bone below. He or she then removes the bone or places a stent to keep the passageway open. The new tunnel allows the tears to bypass the obstructed canaliculi and drain into the nasal cavity.
In extreme situations where creating a new structure for the tears isn’t possible, CDCR is an option. During CDCR, conjunctivodacryocystorhinostom, the surgeon places a glass tube called a Jones tube where the canaliculus was. The Jones tube facilitates the proper movement of tears from the ocular cavity to the nose.
Both DCR and CDCR are risky procedures due to the sensitive nature of the eye and surrounding structures. Possible side effects and hazards of these surgeries could include the following:
- Uncontrollable bleeding during and after surgery
- Tissue and nasal structure damage
- Canaliculus injury
- Facial scars
- Ineffective procedure
Speaking with your ophthalmologist and oncologist about the appropriate treatment is crucial. As with any surgical procedure, you’ll undergo an evaluation to determine if DCR or CDCR is right for you. Your doctor will review information, such as past medical history, current diseases or conditions, and any medications you’re taking. If they decide surgery is your only option, that’s what they will recommend.
How Much Money Could I Win from a Lawsuit Against Sanofi-Aventis?
The type and amount of compensation you could be eligible to claim will be dependent on various factors. The most critical details reviewed are the following:
- The severity of the injury
- Duration of treatment necessary
- Visibility of the injury
- Period of time it takes to recover
- Medical records proving Taxotere caused the side effects
- Expenses incurred from medications, treatment, and other related costs
It’s impossible to guess an exact number you could potentially receive from a lawsuit against Sanofi. However, Maryland Taxotere lawsuit lawyers will try to recover a settlement that covers your past and future damages. Damages are losses suffered as the result of an accident or injury. In a Taxotere product liability case, the damages you could potentially receive compensation for include:
- Medical Bills: For treatment deemed medically necessary to treat or manage your symptoms, such as surgery, prescription medicines, and ER visits.
- Lost Wages: Past and future pay you can’t earn because your injury prevents you from working.
- Pain and Suffering: Significant physical pain caused by your injury that inhibits your ability to perform routine tasks.
- Emotional Distress: Emotional trauma or psychological effects from the incident, such as stress and depression.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Your inability to enjoy activities you participated in before you sustained the injury.
- Death Benefits: The victim’s family could seek compensation for funeral costs and other expenses related to the deceased’s medical treatment and death.
Additionally, you could seek compensation for punitive damages. Punitive damages don’t compensate you for any type of expense. Instead, they punish the responsible party for their careless actions that caused your injury. While the courts rarely award punitive damages, and usually do so in the case of gross or wilful negligence, it is a possibility in any drug injury case.
Under Maryland law, there’s a three-year statute of limitations on most personal injury cases, including product liability. That means you only have three years from the date of the injury to bring legal action against another person or entity.
Should I Hire A Maryland Taxotere Lawsuit Lawyer?
At Hotze Runkle PLLC, we believe in the importance of seeking legal representation during this challenging time in your life. When someone tries to pursue legal action on their own, they might not know what their rights are or the financial compensation they deserve. They end up accepting the first offer they receive, believing they can’t get more. When you hire one of our experienced and dedicated attorneys, we’ll ensure you receive a fair settlement.
We understand how overwhelming it is to get taken advantage of by someone you trust. You believed your Taxotere chemo treatment would help you, not harm you. Depending on a drug that led to side effects you didn’t know existed is an outrageous injustice.
Hotze Runkle PLLC dedicates our time and attention to each client we represent. We use all the resources at our disposal to recover the maximum compensation available. We’ll handle all legal aspects of your case so you can focus on putting your life back together. With us by your side, you’ll feel confident knowing you’re in good hands.
We offer a free case evaluation to all prospective clients. There’s no risk or obligation to speak with us about your case and receive the advice you need. We’ll notify you of your options so you can make an informed decision that works best for you.
Take the Taxotere Evaluation Quiz to determine if you or your loved one might qualify for compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Take the Taxotere Evaluation Quiz to determine if your or your loved one’s case qualifies for compensation. Our Maryland Taxotere lawyers will be ready to assist you and help you get the justice you’re owed.