Plaintiffs from around the nation claim that Bayer’s anticoagulant medication Xarelto was defectively designed and marketed with inadequate warnings about the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. Approved by the FDA in 2011, Xarelto is prescribed to treat blood clots, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and is one of the top-selling blood thinners on the market. The drug is also approved to lower the risk of systemic embolism and stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.
Complaints of irreversible bleeding
Unlike older blood thinners like Warfarin, which require close monitoring for dosing instructions, Xarelto can be taken as a single dose without regular blood testing. This convenience, however, is marred by the purported side effects of the medication, which plaintiffs contend were not adequately warned about.
The inherent flaw of Xarelto, according to thousands of lawsuits, is that the medication can cause excessive hemorrhaging. However, unlike older anticoagulants, Xarelto had no reversal agent to stop these bleeds, until very recently.
Thousands of patients who were prescribed the blood thinner experienced gastrointestinal bleeding, cerebral hemorrhages and other life-threatening and fatal complications. Litigation against Bayer and Xarelto distributor Janssen accuse the defendants of reckless indifference to the health, safety and welfare of consumers and failure to warn, among other causes of action. In fact, likely as a result of all the lawsuits, warnings of an increased chance of bleeds were added to the packaging in September 2015.
Xarelto litigation status
More than 23,000 Xarelto claims have been filed in federal courts, seeking justice and compensation for serious side effects. Most of these lawsuits were centralized in the Eastern District of Louisiana under multidistrict litigation. The Honorable Eldon E. Fallon is presiding over MDL 2592, which was established in 2014 to streamline pretrial proceedings. The first three bellwether cases in MDL 2592 resulted in defense verdicts but this has not deterred plaintiffs, as cases will be remanded back to their original courts for final resolution.
Some 1,700 additional Xarelto cases are presiding in Philadelphia’s Complex Litigation Center, where a jury awarded plaintiff Lynn Hartman $28 million in compensatory and punitive damages in the first lawsuit to go to trial.
This victory marked a swift change in the direction of Xarelto litigation. While a judge later vacated the $28 million award, defendants Bayer and Janssen may be facing increasing pressure to start settlement negotiations or risk the prospect of defending cases in court rooms across the nation. Can Big Pharma afford to lose thousands of trials when juries are awarding multi-million-dollar judgements?
Global settlements are common practices in pharmaceutical mass torts. Cases centralized in the Pradaxa MDL were also resolved through a settlement from manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim. The drug maker agreed to settle Pradaxa lawsuits for a whopping $650 million, which gave each plaintiff roughly $150,000.
Explore your rights to compensation
Showard Law Firm provides tenacious representation for plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from defective drugs. If you or a loved one are interested in filing a Xarelto lawsuit, we invite you to call our Tucson-based law firm to arrange a free consultation. Call (866) 307-2147 to discuss your options for legal recourse.
- US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, MDL 2592 Xarelto Products Liability Litigation http://www.laed.uscourts.gov/xarelto
Reuters, Case to Watch: Bayer, J&J hope to end massive Xarelto MDL on appellate review https://www.reuters.com/article/products-xarelto/case-to-watch-bayer-jj-hope-to-end-massive-xarelto-mdl-on-appellate-review-idUSL1N1TR09I