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A Philadelphia jury has found in favor of Bayer and Johnson & Johnson in the latest “bellwether” trial over the drug makers’ alleged failure to warn about the risk of internal bleeding from Xarelto, returning a defense verdict in a case brought by a New Jersey man.
The case was the latest in a series of early trial dates scheduled, which are being closely watched to help gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that may be repeated throughout about 20,000 Xarelto lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals nationwide.
At least four prior trials in state and federal courts have resulted in defense verdicts, including a Philadelphia trial that originally resulted in a $28 million verdict, before a Pennsylvania judge overturned the verdict during post-trial motions. All cases are currently pending on appeal, and the parties are preparing hundreds of additional cases to go before juries in the coming months and years.
Xarelto (rivaroxoaban) was introduced in 2011, as the second member of a new class of drugs known as novel oral anticoagulants. The drugs were were marketed as easier to use than warfarin, which had been the go-to anti-clotting treatment for decades. However, as an alarming number of adverse event reports involving severe and often fatal bleeding problems began to emerge, a mounting number of lawsuits began to be filed against the drugs manufacturers.
Each of the claims raise similar allegations involving uncontrollable gastrointestinal bleeding, brain bleeds or other injuries that occurred after doctors were unable to stop hemorrhaging among users of Xarelto. Plaintiffs claim that the drug makers provided false and misleading information for consumers and the medical community, failing to adequately warn about the risks associated with their medication.
On Friday, the Pennsylvania state court jurors in this latest bellwether case found that plaintiffs failed to establish that the Xarelto label warnings were inadequate.
Most of the cases pending nationwide are in the federal court system, where the Xarelto litigation has been centralized before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana, where the parties have been directed to prepare 1,200 Xarleto cases to be prepared for trial.
If the parties fail to reach Xarelto settlements or another resolution for the claims, the drug makers may soon face simultaneous trial dates in courts nationwide.