Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Over Uncontrollable Bleeding Problems Top 3,000 Nationwide
A mounting number of product liability lawsuits continue to be filed over the controversial anticoagulant Xarelto, with more than 3,000 cases now pending nationwide that allege side effects of Xarelto caused serious and sometimes deadly bleeding problems.
There are at least 2,825 Xarelto injury lawsuits pending in the federal court system, with several hundred additional cases pending in Pennsylvania and other state court systems, each involving allegations that Bayer and Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers and the medical community about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding.
Cases filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide are currently consolidated as part of a federal MDL, or multidistrict litigation, with pretrial proceedings centralized before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana to prevent duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting rulings from different judges and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.
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Following a status conference held in the Xarelto MDL on February 3, a minute entry (PDF) was issued by Judge Fallon, indicating that plaintiffs’ attorneys appointed last year to serve in various leadership roles are appropriately discharging their duties, resulting in a re-appointment of the members of a Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC) to another one-year term.
As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings before Judge Fallon, attorneys have been conducting discovery into common issues in the litigation, and case-specific discovery will soon begin in a small group of “bellwether” claims, which will be prepared for a series of early trial dates that are expected to go before juries between February 2017 and May 2017.
While the outcomes of these Xarelto bellwether trials will not be binding on other cases, they will be closely watched, as they may help gauge how juries will respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation, potentially leading to Xarelto injury settlements that would avoid the need for thousands of individual trials nationwide.
Xarelto Bleeding Problems
Xarelto (rivaroxoaban) is a new-generation anticoagulant that was introduced in 2011 as a replacement for Coumadin (warfarin), which has been the go-to anticoagulant treatment for decades.
The drug is part of a new-generation of treatments designed to avoid blood clots among individuals at risk for deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, which has been promoted as easier to use than warfarin. However, it has been linked to a large number of bleeding problems.
Each of the lawsuits involved in the Xarelto MDL raise nearly identical allegations, indicating that users and the medical community were provided inadequate warnings about the problems with uncontrollable bleeding on Xarelto, and the fact that the anticoagulant lacked a safe and effective reversal agent to allow doctors to quickly stop the blood thinning effects of the drug.
While all blood thinners carry a risk of bleeding injury, the side effects of warfarin can be quickly reversed with a widely known antidote of bleeding occurs. However, there was no Xarelto reversal agent when the drug was introduced. Plaintiffs allege that the drug makers failed to adequately warn doctors about the lack of an antidote.
Similar claims were raised in the litigation over Pradaxa, which is another new-generation anticoagulant introduced in October 2010, one year before Xarelto hit the market.
More than 4,000 Pradaxa lawsuits were ultimately filed by users of that drug who suffered bleeding injuries. Following several years of litigation, the manufacturer of that medication ultimately agreed to pay $650 million in Pradaxa settlements, with an average of about $150,000 per claim.
As Xarelto bleeding lawyers continue to review potential cases for individuals prescribed the anticoagulant throughout the United States, it is expected that this litigation will involve many more cases than the Pradaxa litigation, as the drug has become more widely used in recent years.
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