Class Action Lawsuit for Pradaxa vs MDL

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted June 4, 2012


A petition has been filed in federal court calling for the consolidation of all lawsuits over bleeding problems with Pradaxa as part of a multidistrict litigation, or MDL, where the cases would be centralized before one judge for coordinated handling during pretrial proceedings. While many people confuse this process with a Pradaxa class action lawsuit, it is different and each injury or wrongful death claim remains an individual case.

While there are currently only 21 Pradaxa lawsuits pending in the federal court system, it is likely that several hundred, and possibly even thousands, of cases will eventually be filed on behalf of individuals who suffered serious bleeding events that doctors were unable to stop because of the relatively new anticoagulant.

Although Pradaxa (dabigatran) was just introduced in October 2010, it has been associated with hundreds of deaths and other adverse events, causing some to call for a Pradaxa to be removed from the market.

It was promoted as a superior alternative to Coumadin or warfarin for prevention of strokes among individuals suffering from atrial fibrillation. While all anticoagulants carry a risk of bleeding, the lawsuits all involve similar allegations that the Pradaxa bleeding risk was not properly described on the warning label and that consumers and the medical community were not adequately told that there is no reversal agent to stop bleeding problems if they do develop.

Plaintiffs have requested that the lawsuits be consolidated for pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues that will be present in a large number of cases, to avoid inconsistent pretrial rulings from different judges in different federal district courts and to serve the convenience of the witnesses, the parties and the courts in the efficient handling of the litigation.


If an MDL for Pradaxa is formed, all cases filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the country will be transferred to one judge, where they will be managed in a manner similar to how a class action for Pradaxa would proceed. However, unlike a class action, each of the individual claims remains a separate case where the plaintiff has the burden of proving that their injury was caused by Pradaxa. In addition, each plaintiff must establish the amount of damages they are entitled to.

Unlike a class action lawsuit, where all claims can be tried through a class representative, the Pradaxa injury suffered in each case will be unique based on the circumstances surrounding their use of the medication, so the claims can not be judged based on the same set of facts.

Following the MDL proceedings, if an agreement to settle the Pradaxa cases is not reached or the litigation is not otherwise resolved, each lawsuit may be remanded back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for an individual jury trial. Therefore, while many people consider a Pradaxa MDL the same thing as a class action, they are very different and each individual plaintiff does not lose their ultimate right to take their case to trial.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation will likely schedule oral arguments on the motion during their next hearing, which is scheduled to occur at the U.S. Courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio on July 26, 2012.

If it is determined that the Pradaxa litigation warrants an MDL, the Panel will determine what the most appropriate venue will be for the litigation. The initial motion has proposed that the cases be transferred to Judge David Herndon in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, but it is likely that a number of other potential venues will be proposed before the MDL Panel hearing.


The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are no longer reviewing potential lawsuits on behalf of individuals throughout the United States who have experienced problems following the use of Pradaxa, such as:

  • Internal Bleeding
  • Brain Hemorrhage
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Failure
  • Heart Attack
  • Death

While the Pradaxa litigation remains in the very early stages, the number of cases is expected to increase rapidly in the coming months.


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