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Bayer, J&J Faces New Xarelto Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Alleging Stroke

Dec 16, 2016

Litigation Continues to Mount over Xarelto Anticoagulant

Bayer, J&J Faces New Xarelto Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A new wrongful death lawsuit has been filed over the anticoagulant Xarelto against Janssen Pharmaceuticals, parent company Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Healthcare. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a West Virginia man who died, allegedly due to Xarelto side effects. Bayer and Janssen are accused of failing to disclose the risks. The companies are faced with a number of lawsuits over bleeding-related injuries.

Parker Waichman LLP is a national personal injury law firm that represents numerous clients in drug injury lawsuits. The firm continues to offer free legal consultations to anyone with questions about filing a Xarelto lawsuit.

The plaintiff took Xarelto from February 2014 through February 2015, the complaint states. The lawsuit states that he suffered from bleeding in the lungs, ischemic stroke, multiple cardiopulmonary arrests, respiratory failure and septic shock. He died in March 2015, allegedly due to Xarelto complications. The lawsuit alleges that the drug makers knew about the risks of the blood thinner, but failed to warn the plaintiff or his physician.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for economic damages as well as pain, suffering and emotional distress and loss of enjoyment in life on behalf of the patient’s wife.

Litigation continues to mount over Xarelto, along with other new generation anticoagulants such as Pradaxa and Eliquis. Plaintiffs in the litigation generally allege bleeding injuries, including gastrointestinal bleeding and brain bleeding. Lawsuits allege the drug makers knew about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding but failed to warn patients or the medical community.

Xarelto MDL Lawsuits Go to Trial in March 2017

A Xarelto multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been established for federal lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) creates MDLs to consolidate complex litigation. Lawsuits with common questions of fact are transferred to one court before one judge to streamline proceedings. The goal of an MDL is to make litigation more efficient. Unlike in a class action lawsuit, lawsuits are filed on behalf of individual plaintiffs in an MDL.

Plaintiffs in the Xarelto MDL commonly allege that the anticoagulant caused irreversible bleeding, and that drug makers failed to disclose the risk of uncontrollable bleeding associated with the lack of an antidote. Alleged injuries include internal bleeding or hemorrhaging, with some lawsuits alleging wrongful death. Lawsuits allege that plaintiffs would have chosen a different treatment option if they were fully informed of the risks.

The Xarelto MDL bellwether trials have been scheduled, with the first trial slated to begin March 13, 2017 in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The second bellwether trial is scheduled for April 24th. The following two bellwether cases will be held in Mississippi and Texas.

Bellwether trials are considered test cases, where both sides have an opportunity to try out their legal arguments in court for the first time. Bellwether cases are the first lawsuits selected for trial, and represent most plaintiffs. The outcome of bellwether trials is used to predict how other cases in the litigation would proceed. For example, drug makers may be more inclined to settle if juries award several large verdicts to the plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs in the Xarelto MDL most often allege gastrointestinal bleeding and brain bleeding. The first two bellwether plaintiffs were prescribed Xarelto to reduce the risk of blood clot and stroke associated with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. One of the cases alleged that Xarelto led to brain bleeding and the other alleged gastrointestinal bleeding. The plaintiff in the third bellwether case took Xarelto to prevent complications from deep vein thrombosis, where a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins (usually the legs). This condition can lead to pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening complication where the clot migrates to the lungs. According to his lawsuit, Xarelto caused gastrointestinal bleeding. The fourth bellwether plaintiff suffered gastrointestinal bleeding. He was prescribed Xarelto to prevent blood clots associated with his atrial fibrillation.

In addition to Xarelto lawsuits, drug injury claims have also been filed over other new generation anticoagulants, including Pradaxa. Boehringer Ingelheim faced some 4,000 Pradaxa bleeding lawsuits after the drug was released in 2010. Wrongful death was alleged in roughly 750 lawsuits. On the eve of the first day of trial, Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to settle Pradaxa lawsuits for $650 million instead of seeing the cases through to trial.

Xarelto is Among New-Generation Anticoagulants, Alongside Pradaxa and Eliquis

Xarelto is Among New-Generation Anticoagulants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xarelto in 2011. The drug is used to prevent life-threatening blood clots, which could lead to complications such as stroke. The anticoagulant is used in patients with atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm that increases the risk of blood clots, as well as patients undergoing knee and hip replacement surgeries. Xarelto is also prescribed to patients with deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, known collectively as venous thromboembolism.

Allegations in the Xarelto, Pradaxa and Eliquis litigation are similar. Plaintiffs allege that these drugs were marketed to replace warfarin, a decades-old blood thinner sold under the brand name Coumadin. Patients taking warfarin need to undergo frequent blood testing to ensure that the drug is present in appropriate doses for each patient. Warfarin may interact with certain foods and medications.

New generation anticoagulants do not have these drawbacks. Plaintiffs in lawsuits, however, point out that there is no antidote to reverse the drug’s effects if bleeding occurs. This changed last year when the FDA approved a Pradaxa reversal agent last October. Anticoagulants naturally make it harder for blood to clot, which is necessary for some patients. However, this can also present challenges in situations where blood clotting is necessary, such as during massive bleeding. In these situations, an antidote can be used to reverse the effects of the blood thinner. Warfarin can be reversed with vitamin K. Up until recently, however, no antidote existed for Pradaxa, Xarelto or Eliquis. Plaintiffs allege that drug makers knew about this risk but failed to inform patients or their physicians.

Filing a Xarelto Lawsuit

If you or someone you know suffered uncontrollable bleeding related to the use of Xarelto, you may have valuable legal rights. Our personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).


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