The attorney for an Accutane user seeking to reinstate his $25 million jury verdict over the acne drug’s adverse effects urged the New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday to apply the state’s statute of limitations rules to the case, emphasizing the Garden State’s role as a “vanguard” of pharmaceutical law.
The question before the justices hearing oral argument in Trenton was whether the timeliness of Andrew McCarrell’s lawsuit against Hoffman-La Roche Inc. should be assessed under New Jersey law, which allows for the equitable tolling of statutes of limitations under discovery rule principles, or the law of McCarrell’s home state of Alabama, which disallows such tolling.
An appeals panel that reversed the case had determined that, because Alabama was where McCarrell was prescribed the medicine and ingested it, that state’s law should apply to the statute of limitations issue. Hoffman-La Roche had headquarters in Nutley, New Jersey at the time McCarrell filed his lawsuit.
“I’m not looking for special treatment, I’m just looking for equal treatment,” David R. Kott of McCarter & English told the justices.