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Woman Files Lawsuit Alleging Xarelto Caused Her Father to Suffer Fatal Bleed

Aug 2, 2016

Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals are facing a lawsuit alleging that the anticoagulant drug, Xarelto is to blame for a man's death. The suit, filed by his daughter in Vermont, alleges that the drug makers failed to warn about the risk of irreversible bleeding associated with the blood thinner. According to the complaint, the man began taking Xarelto to treat his atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heart rhythm that increases the risk of strokes and blood clots.

Medications such as Xarelto are intended to decrease the risk of stroke and related injuries. Generally, all anticoagulants have some risk of bleeding; however, the lawsuit points out that, with Xarelto, there is no antidote to reverse the bleeding. This is not the case with warfarin, also known as Coumadin, a decades-old blood thinner, in which bleeding may occur but for which an antidote is well known. The plaintiff alleges that the drug makers were negligent in releasing a drug that did not have a reversal agent, and says they failed to warn about this risk.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff's father suffered a head injury shortly after starting treatment with Xarelto. The injury caused a parenchymal hemorrhage, a type of brain bleed that doctors could not stop. Unfortunately, he died after six days of doctor's efforts to stop the bleeding.

More than 2,800 similar lawsuits have been consolidated into the multidistrict litigation (MDL) pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana. U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon is presiding over the litigation. Additionally, a mass tort program is underway in Philadelphia containing another 550 Xarelto lawsuits.

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