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Trial Dates Scheduled in Xarelto MDL

Aug 5, 2016

The dates for four Xarelto bellwether trials have been set for 2017, court records indicate. These are the first cases that are slated for trial in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) 2592, which contains over 2,800 lawsuits alleging that Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to warn about the risk of irreversible bleeding. The litigation is being overseen by U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon, who has asked that four bellwether cases be selected from a list of 40 lawsuits.

Bellwether trials are selected and brought to trial to get a sense of how the remaining litigation will proceed. They are the first lawsuits that see trial in a multidistrict litigation, which is a type of mass tort that consolidates very similar lawsuits. The lawsuits remain separate, but certain aspects are combined to make the legal process more streamlined.

Court documents indicate that the bellwether trial dates are set for:

  • February 6, 2017
  • March 13, 2017
  • April 24, 2017
  • May 30, 2017

The first two trials will take place in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The locations for the next two trials have not been finalized, but they are tentatively set for Mississippi and Texas.

MDLs contain lawsuits with common allegations. In the case of the Xarelto lawsuits, plaintiffs claim that the drug led to irreversible, sometimes fatal bleeding. The lawsuits allege that the drug makers failed to warn about the lack of an antidote to reverse bleeding with Xarelto, pointing out that this is not a risk with warfarin (also know by the brand, Coumadin), which can be reversed with vitamin K. Bayer and Janssen are accused of marketing Xarelto as being superior to warfarin, without disclosing the lack of an antidote.

In addition to the MDL, another 550 lawsuits are pending in a mass tort program in Philadelphia.

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