Lawsuit Against Maker Of Acne Drug Dropped


The mother and grandmother of a 15-year-old boy who intentionally flew a stolen plane into a Bank of America building in Tampa four months after the 9/11 attacks have dropped their $70 million lawsuit against the drug manufacturer Hoffmann-LaRoche, the maker of the acne medicine Accutane. The women blamed the drug maker for Charles Bishop’s suicide but have said they do not wish to proceed with the lawsuit due to being “physically and emotionally” unable to continue with the litigation.

The boy’s suicide flight gained national attention as images of the stolen Cessna aircraft protruding from the Bank of American Plaza were televised all over the world just four months after the 9/11 attack on New York City and Washington D.C. Inside the plane, authorities found a note from the boy expressing sympathy for Osama bin Laden and promising that the United States would pay for oppressing Palestinians. The boy’s mother, Julia Bishop, and his grandmother, Karen Johnson, blamed Accutane for his suicide and sued the manufacturer three months after his death.

Family History of Suicidal Behavior?

Hoffman-LaRoche denied the drug was responsible and suggested the boy came from a troubled background. Allegedly the boys’ parents entered into a suicide pact in 1984 before the boy was born. The couple was not yet married. They tried to kill themselves with carbon monoxide, but when that didn’t work, they agreed to stab each other. Julia Bishop stabbed Charles’ father first in the abdomen with a kitchen knife, and then he was supposed to stab her and “curl up and spend eternity together.” Allegedly, when Julia stabbed Charles’ father, he said, “Oh my God. This hurts so much. I can’t do this. I won’t do this to you.” They then called 911. The attorneys for the drug maker say, also, that the boy’s mother was suicidal at age 15, when she tried to jump out of a window.

Julia Bishop, when questioned, did admit to and describe numerous bouts of depression she has endured over the years; she has been prescribed several psychiatric drugs, also. Her son, Charles, spent every grade in a different school, and in some years, he attended more than one school in a single school year.

The family cannot go on with the lawsuit due to enduring “years of difficult litigation and personal attacks.” The judge granted a dismissal upon the request of lawyers for the plaintiffs.