Xarelto Bellwether Trials Delayed, First Case Set to Begin April 24

The start of the federal Xarelto bellwether trials has been delayed about a month, with the first case over uncontrollable bleeding problems allegedly caused by the controversial anticoagulant now set to begin on April 24, followed by a second case that will start on May 30.

There are currently more than 15,000 Xarelto lawsuits pending throughout the federal court system, which are all centralized before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

Each of the cases raise similar allegations, indicating that the manufacturers withheld important information and warnings about the potential bleeding side effects of Xarelto, as well as the lack of an effective antidote that would have allowed doctors to reverse the blood thinning effects of the medication.

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As part of the coordinated MDL proceedings, Judge Fallon previously scheduled a series of early Xarelto trial dates, which are designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation.

The first case, involving a lawsuit filed by Joseph Boudreaux, Jr., was previously set to go before a federal jury in New Orleans starting on March 13, with a second case set to begin in the same court on April 24. Additional cases were scheduled to proceed in the Southern District of Mississippi on May 30 and Northern District of Texas the following month.

In a case management order (PDF) issued on January 30, Judge Fallon indicates that the trial dates have been reset, with the first case now set to begin on April 30, followed by the second case on May 30, each in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The case designated to go to trial in Mississippi will be set for June 2017, with the case designated for the Northern District of Texas to be set for July 2017.

While the outcomes of these “bellwether” trials will not be binding on other claims pending in the litigation, they will be closely watched and may influence eventual Xarelto settlement negotiations to avoid the need for hundreds of individual cases to be scheduled for trial in courts nationwide.

Xarelto Bleeding Problems

Xarelto (rivaroxoaban) is a new-generation anticoagulant that was introduced in 2011, as an alternative to Coumadin (warfarin), which has been the go-to anticoagulant treatment for decades.

The drug is part of a new class of medications, which have been promoted as easier to use than warfarin. However, since the drugs have hit the market, there have been a large number of reports involving severe and sometimes fatal bleeding problems with Xarelto and other members of this new class, including Pradaxa and Eliquis.

While all blood thinners may cause bleeding, the side effects of warfarin can be quickly reversed with a widely known antidote. 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, which led to severe and uncontrollable bleeds.

Similar claims were raised in the litigation over Pradaxa, which was the first member of this class introduced in October 2010, one year before Xarelto hit the market. About 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 just before the first bellwether trials were set to begin, 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, the number of complaints has surpassed the number of claims involved in the Pradaxa litigation, as the drug has become more widely used in recent years.

In recent months, there have also been an increasing number of Eliquis lawsuits filed over this newer member of the class, once again raising similar allegations that the drug maker failed to warn about the bleeding risk. Last week, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) heard oral arguments over whether to consolidate and centralize the federal Eliquis bleeding cases before one judge as part of a separate MDL.

2 Comments

  • RichardJuly 2, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Suffered TBI due to massive brain bleed. Requiring half skull removal flat lined twice on operating table. Was given xeralto as part of a test study. Did I wave my rights by signing that bleeding was a risk. I thought that ment nose bleed not TBI and surgery. Do I have a case

  • JamesFebruary 23, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    I would like details mom my lawsuit

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