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    Baratto v. Merck Canada Inc. and Merck Frosst Canada & co

    Propecia and Proscar

    The class action seeks to compensate every person who suffered an injury following the use of Propecia or Proscar (scientifically known as finasteride) for the treatment of male pattern hair loss.

    The motion alleges the liability of Merck Canada and Merck Frosst Canada due to the fact that they promoted their medication as a treatment for male pattern hair loss while they were aware, or should have been aware, that their product warnings regarding side effects were inadequate.

    Latest news

    New facts since the authorization judgment mean that the conditions of the authorization judgment are no longer met.

    Consequently, on October 27, 2023, the plaintiff filed a Motion to annul the judgment authorizing the present class action.

    The annulment of the judgment authorizing the class action does not extinguish the rights of the members. The annulment of the authorization judgment will have the effect of stopping the suspension of the limitation period from which the members have benefited since the filing of the application for authorization.

    Members of this class action can file individual actions, but must do so quickly.

    This request will be heard by the Tribunal at a date to be determined.

    For more information, see the Application to annul the judgment of authorization (available only in French).

    Are you a member?

    The class action was authorized by the Court of Appeal of Quebec on behalf of persons who meet all of the following criteria:

    • You live in Quebec;
    • You have been prescribed Propecia or Proscar for the treatment of male pattern baldness;
    • This prescription was made before November 18, 2011;
    • You have developed a side effect that persisted after stopping the medication: sexual dysfunction, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory disorders, decreased ejaculate volume, shrinking of the genitals, gynecomastia, testicular pain, anhedonia, and difficulty in reaching orgasm or depression.

    YOU COULD receive $ 10,000 in punitive damages and compensation based on:

    • your physical, psychological and moral damages;
    • the costs of your care arising from the side effects of the drug;

    LAWYER FEES will be paid only if successful and at a percentage approved by the Court. You have nothing to pay unless in this class action.

    The Class Action

    In April 2013, Mr. Baratto filed a motion seeking authorization to institute a class action (the “motion seeking authorization”) against Merck Canada Inc. and Merck Frosst Canada & co.

    On December 21st, 2016, the Honourable Claude Dallaire dismissed the application for leave to institute a class action against Merck Canada and Merck Frosst Canada, which was argued on January 27 and 28, 2016.

    Your representative Camilo Baratto and we, your prosecutors, have decided to appeal this judgment, which, in our view, contains several errors of fact and of law. The hearing at the Quebec Court of Appeal was held on January 23, 2018.

    On July 26, 2018, in a unanimous judgment, the Quebec Court of Appeal authorized the class action.

    On October 1, 2018, Merk Canada and Merk Frosst Canada applied to the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal the judgment of the Quebec Court of Appeal granting authorization. On March 28, 2019, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Merck Canada and Merck Frosst Canada’s application for leave to appeal.

    The authorization of the class action means that Mr. Baratto and its lawyers will represent all class members in the class action.

    The Honourable Justice Baudouin rendered a case management order on November 16, 2020 providing a timeline for the next steps in the case.

    On November 19, 2020, the Honourable Justice Baudouin was appointed Judge of the Court of Appeal of Quebec. Therefore, she will no longer be the managing judge of the case. On December 3, 2020, the Honourable Justice Chantal Corriveau was appointed judge in charge of this file. She ratified Justice Baudoin’s case management order of November 16, 2020, and extended the deadlines then imposed by 8 weeks.

    A hearing has been held on April 20, 2022 to discuss a request from the defendants for a medical examination of the representative. The timetable for the file has also been discussed with Judge Corriveau at this hearing.

    The examinations for on discovery have been completed and the parties’ expert reports have been filed. The defense was filed in January 2023.