What is the Latest Status Update for the Xarelto Litigation Over Bleeds, Deaths?
As of late-2018, more than 23,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed in courts throughout the United States on behalf of individuals who allege that side effects of Xarelto caused severe bleeds and other problems, such as
- Gastrointestinal Bleeding
- Brain Bleeding
- Hemorrhagic Stroke
The first complaints were filed in early 2014, and by mid-2015 the number of claims involved in the Xarelto litigation has already reached 2,000. However, as Xarelto injury lawyers continued to review potential claims, the size and scope of the litigation has rapidly expanded.
The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are continuing to review potential lawsuits for individuals and family members of Xarelto users who have been hospitalized or suffered severe injury as a result of bleeding events that doctors could not stop due to a lack of a Xarelto reversal agent.
In December 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation established consolidated proceedings for all Xarelto injury cases, transferring all complaints filed throughout the federal court system to U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
As part of the coordinated pretrial proceedings, a small group of cases was selected for an initial series of bellwether trials. Following contradictory verdicts in various state and federal courts, Judge Fallon indicated in early 2018 that hundreds of cases will be prepared for trial in waves.
If the drug makers continue to refuse to negotiate fair Xarelto settlements or otherwise resolve the litigation, it is expected that cases will be remanded back to U.S. District Courts nationwide for individual trials over the next few years.
Allegations Raised in Xarelto Bleeding Litigation
All of the complaints in the Xarelto injury litigation involve similar allegations that Bayer Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers or the medical community about the risk of serious and uncontrollable bleeding events associated with the blood thinner.
Xarelto was released in November 2011, as one of a number of new blood thinners designed to prevent strokes due to atrial fibrillation. The drug was launched about a year after its main competitor, Pradaxa.
Drug makers hoped that Xarelto would replace Coumadin (warfarin) as the go-to drug for atrial fibrillation stroke prevention, and as a wide-spectrum use blood thinner.
However, all blood thinners include the risk of bleeding events. To counteract that risk, warfarin has an antidote, vitamin K, which works as a reversal agent, allowing doctors to easily stop and treat warfarin bleeding events in most cases.
That is not the case with Xarelto. It was released with no reversal agent and doctors were given no strategy to control Xarelto bleeds. Some make-shift treatments have been used and developed, but barring a future Xarelto update, there is no approved Xarelto reversal agent.
Centralized Management of Xarelto Lawsuits
The U.S. JPML decided to establish a federal Xarelto MDL (multidistrict litigation) in December 2014, which is designed to reduce duplicative discover, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings and to serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and courts.
Similar consolidation occurred in Pradaxa lawsuits, which was the first member of this new generation of blood thinners to hit the market. Following several years of litigation, the makers of that anticoagulant agreed to pay a $680 million settlement to resolve about 4,000 Pradaxa bleeding claims.
For individuals who suspect they may have a potential claim, it is important to review your case with a lawyer as soon as possible, as a Xarelto statute of limitations will limit the amount of time available in each case to join the litigation.