Xarelto Lawsuit Filed Over Injuries From Intracranial Bleeding

According to allegations raised in a recent lawsuit filed by a Georgia man, side effects of Xarelto caused him to suffer uncontrollable intracranial bleeding, which have left him with permanent injuries. 

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Oren Fells in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on January 9, naming Bayer Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, and its Janssen subsidiary, as defendants.

According to allegations raised in the lawsuit, Fells suffered an intracranial bleed from Xarelto, which was life-threatening and which physicians were hard-pressed to stop.

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Fells began taking the new-generation anticoagulant Xarelto in August 2013, for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. The brain bleed began on January 11, 2014, causing him to suffer severe pain and suffering, mental anguish, diminished enjoyment of life, medical expenses, loss of earnings and permanent injuries that will continue to impact him throughout the remainder of his life.

The case joins a growing number of similar Xarelto lawsuits, which allege that the drug makers knew about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding, yet failed to warn consumers or the medical community

“Defendants concealed their knowledge of Xarelto’s defects from Plaintiff, the FDA, the public in general and/or the medical community specifically,” the Fells states in his complaint. “Defendants negligently and improperly failed to perform sufficient tests, if any, on humans using Xarelto during clinical trials, forcing Plaintiff, and Plaintiff’s physicians, hospitals, and/or the FDA, to rely on safety information that applies to other non-valvular and fibrillation treatment and DVT/PE (deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism) treatment and prophylaxis, which does not entirely and/or necessarily apply to Xarelto whatsoever.”

Xarelto Bleeding Litigation

Xarelto (rivaroxoaban) 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 blood thinners, which have been promoted as easier to use than warfarin, the go-to anticoagulation treatment for decades. However, a large number of Xarelto bleeding problems have been reported since the drug hit the market.

There are currently at least 2,400 complaints filed throughout the federal court system, each involving allegations that Xarelto caused individuals to suffer bleeding injuries.

The Xarelto litigation is currently centralized before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings, and it is expected that Fells’ lawsuit will be transferred in the federal MDL, or multidistrict litigation.

As part of the coordinated proceedings before Judge Fallon, the parties are currently engaged in generic discovery into issues that apply to all claims, but are also working to identify a small group of bellwether cases that will go through case-specific discovery and be eligible for early test trials, to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that is likely to be repeated throughout the litigation.

Similar claims were raised in 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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