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In re Accutane Litigation

Court of Appeals of North Carolina

April 8, 2014

In re: ACCUTANE LITIGATION

Heard in the Court of Appeals January 8, 2014.

Editorial Note:

This Decision is not final until expiration of the twenty-one day rehearing period. [North Carolina Rules of Appellate Procedure 32(b)]

Orange County. No. 13 CVS 265.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, by Christopher J. Blake, Joseph S. Dowdy, and T. Carlton Younger, III, for Hoffman-LaRoche Inc., and Roche Laboratories, Inc.-appellees.

Ashmead P. Pipkin for Dr. Michael D. Kappelman-appellant.

STEELMAN, Judge. Judges STEPHENS and DAVIS concur.

OPINION

Page 14

Appeal by Dr. Michael D. Kappelman from order entered 16 April 2013 by Judge Robert H. Hobgood in Orange County Superior Court.

STEELMAN, Judge.

Where the defendant in a New Jersey mass tort litigation subpoenas a North Carolina witness for a deposition, the North

Page 15

Carolina trial court's protective order was an interlocutory order. Where the witness failed to allege any substantial right that would be jeopardized absent immediate review, but instead speculates that if certain fact scenarios occur in the future his rights might be implicated, his appeal must be dismissed.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

In the early 1980s Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc., began marketing Accutane, the brand name for the drug isotretinoin, which is used to treat severe acne. Beginning in 2003, lawsuits were filed alleging that the use of Accutane had caused inflammatory bowel disease. In May 2005, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered that the litigation pertaining to Accutane be administered as a mass tort, and as of " July 2012, there [were] nearly 8000 cases listed on New Jersey's Accutane mass ...


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