Bellwether trial dates have been selected in the Xarelto multidistrict litigation (MDL) 2592. Court records show that more than 2,800 lawsuits have been consolidated into the MDL in Eastern Louisiana before U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon. A list of 40 bellwether cases have been selected, and Judge Fallon has asked that four be chosen for the first four trials. The bellwether trial dates are set for:
- February 6, 2017
- March 13, 2017
- April 24, 2017
- May 30, 2017
The trial dates have been set, but the cases have yet to be selected. The location of the first two trials is the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The following two trials are tentatively set for Mississippi and Texas, but these may change.
MDLs are a type of mass tort where there are a number of lawsuits with very similar allegations. The suits remain separate, but certain aspects are combined. They are brought together before one court and one judge in order to make proceedings more streamlined and efficient. In the Xarelto MDL, plaintiffs similarly allege that manufacturers failed to warn about the risk of irreversible bleeding with Xarelto. They accuse the drug makers of failing to warn about the lack of an antidote to reverse the bleeding. Bellwether cases are the first lawsuits to go to trial. They are conducted to get an idea of how the remaining lawsuits will proceed.
The lawsuits allege that Bayer and Janssen marketed Xarelto as superior to warfarin because it does not require blood monitoring or dietary restrictions, but failed to disclose that there is no antidote to stop bleeding if it begins. They point out that warfarin can be reversed with vitamin K.
In addition to the MDL, another 550 lawsuits are pending in a mass tort program in Philadelphia.