Oklahoma City Taxotere Canalicular Stenosis Attorneys
Did you develop canalicular stenosis after taking the chemotherapy drug Taxotere? If so, Hotze Runkle PLLC might be able to represent you in your lawsuit against the drug company, Sanofi-Aventis. Canalicular stenosis is a serious eye condition that causes a range of debilitating symptoms, such as severe eye-watering, blurriness, and swollen eyelids.
Unfortunately, Sanofi-Aventis failed to warn doctors about the risk of this serious condition. Canalicular stenosis is preventable, if it’s closely monitored, but doctors didn’t know to watch for this condition.
At Hotze Runkle PLLC, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial strain that a canalicular diagnosis can have on your life. You may struggle with everyday activities such as reading, driving, and even socializing with family and friends.
You can count on us to help you hold the Taxotere manufacturer responsible for their actions. You won’t be alone in your fight for justice. You deserve financial compensation for the harm they caused, and we’ll be by your side every step of the way.
Take our quiz to learn if you may have a valid case against the manufacturer of Taxotere. Our lawyers will take the time to understand your legal goals and take action on your behalf.
What Is Canalicular Stenosis?
Canalicular stenosis is an irreversible eye condition. The canaliculi are tubes in the eye area that direct tears from the tear ducts down to the nasal cavity, so the tears don’t build up on the eye’s surface.
While medical researchers were performing studies on Taxotere, they found a link between the drug’s secretions and a patient’s tears. When the secretions come in direct contact with bodily fluids, such as tears, those tears, in turn, can cause the canaliculi to become inflamed. Over time, the inflamed canaliculi can become infected. This infection, if not immediately treated, can turn into a permanent blockage of the canaliculi tubes – an eye condition known as canalicular stenosis.
When tears can’t flow through the canaliculi, they stay on the surface of the eye and eventually roll down the cheeks in excessive amounts. Epiphora, or excessive eye-watering, is often one of the first warning signs that canalicular stenosis may be developing, and any Taxotere patient experiencing epiphora should seek medical attention immediately.
The most common symptoms of canalicular stenosis that cancer patients and survivors notice include:
- Swollen eyelids
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Watery eyes
- Central vision loss
- Eye infections
- Dry eyes
Once the canaliculi close, there’s nothing a doctor can do to reverse the condition. It’s possible to manage your symptoms with a surgical procedure; however, it’s invasive and doesn’t always work.
Treatment Options for Canalicular Stenosis
There are only two known treatments a surgeon can perform to redirect the flow of tears and manage the symptoms you’re experiencing. Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a procedure where the doctor places a stent or uses adjacent structures to create a new passageway for tears. When successful, tears funnel around the obstructed canaliculus and into the nasal cavity as intended.
However, some patients don’t qualify for DCR. If one or both canaliculi are completely blocked, or there aren’t viable structures to create a passageway, conjunctivodacryocystorhinostomy (CDCR) might be an option. During this procedure, the surgeon places in a Jones tube, or a tiny glass tube, to redirect tears around the closed canaliculus.
Although both surgeries can be effective, there’s a range of side effects you could experience, such as:
- Abnormally fused tissue
- Damaged tissue
- Chronic eye infections
- Displaced or migrating stent
- Significant facial scars
- Uncontrollable bleeding
If you’re noticing canalicular stenosis symptoms while you’re treating your cancer with Taxotere, you should tell your oncologist and seek treatment with an ophthalmologist. Both doctors will monitor your health and ensure your symptoms don’t get worse.
How DCR and CDCR Might Effect Chemotherapy
Even if you’re treating your symptoms of canalicular stenosis, you can still continue with your chemotherapy regimen. Your oncologist may switch the drug used in your treatment and take the necessary precautions to prevent your medical condition from progressing any further.
Your ophthalmologist can perform surgery, if necessary, to facilitate the proper flow of tears and ensure your symptoms are under control. It’s crucial that you notify your doctor if you developed new symptoms or think your symptoms are getting worse. If necessary, a temporary stent can block tears from flowing towards the obstructed canaliculus. Your doctor will remove it approximately six to eight weeks after you complete chemotherapy.
How to Prove Negligence in a Civil Lawsuit
Sanofi-Aventis is responsible for manufacturing Taxotere. Taxotere is used to treat a range of cancers, including cancer of the stomach, lungs, breast, head, neck, and prostate. You can receive the drug once a week, once every two weeks, or once every three weeks orally or intravenously. It works by attacking cancer cells and preventing them from spreading to the lymph nodes and other organs.
Although Taxotere can be successful in treating cancer, cancer patients and survivors began noticing side effects they did not know could develop. Throughout the country, people have filed lawsuits against the pharmaceutical company, alleging the company knew about the dangerous reactions and did nothing to warn the public. It wasn’t until 2014 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released warnings about symptoms associated with canalicular stenosis.
Failure to warn is considered negligence. Negligence is the legal theory that one party’s failure to exercise a reasonable degree of care led to another person’s injuries. There are five elements you must prove existed if you want to use negligence as the basis of your lawsuit:
- Duty: The manufacturer owed you a reasonable duty of care to prevent you from harm;
- Breach of duty: They breached their duty of care;
- Cause in fact: If it wasn’t for their failure to warn, you wouldn’t have developed canalicular stenosis;
- Proximate cause: The manufacturer’s actions were the direct cause of your symptoms; and
- Damages: Your injuries resulted in damages.
Damages include all expenses and losses due to an accident or injury. When you file a lawsuit, you can seek damages such as the following:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out of pocket costs
- Loss of consortium
Although damages, such as medical bills, are easy to calculate, other damages, like mental anguish, are more complicated. When a jury is reviewing the details of a case, they might consider some of the factors below to come up with a fair monetary value:
- The severity of the symptoms
- Whether the injury cause disfigurement, impairment, or disability
- Duration of recovery
- Total medical expenses
- Impact of the diagnosis on quality of life
- Inability to return to work
- Available evidence proving negligence
- Degree of psychological trauma experienced
If your symptoms are severe and require ongoing treatment, you will likely receive higher compensation than if you suffered minor symptoms that went away after a few weeks. No matter your situation, however, you deserve a financial award that compensates you for all of your damages.
Why Choose Hotze Runkle PLLC?
We’ve been successfully representing injured victims at our law firm since 2007. We know you’re struggling to recover from this devastating experience, and we want to help. You can depend on us to remain by your side during this fight. It might be a long road ahead, but we will be there for you every step of the way.
Take our case evaluation quiz to determine if you may have a legal case to pursue.