A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana alleges Xarelto is to blame for a fatal case of internal bleeding. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and Bayer Pharmaceuticals have been named as defendants. According to Louisiana Record, the companies have been accused of strict liability, manufacturing defects and other allegations. Xarelto is an anticoagulant used to prevent blood clots and related injuries, such as a stroke.
The suit was filed by an estate executor, the surviving son of a woman who died after taking Xarelto for about one week, from June 30, 2014 to July 6, 2014. According to the complaint, she died of severe internal bleeding on July 6, 2014. The lawsuit alleges the company failed to warn about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding, failed to study its safety and provide adequate instructions for use, among other things.
More than 3,000 lawsuits have been filed over Xarelto in the United States. There are some 550 lawsuits pending in a mass tort in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and 2,800 pending as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Louisiana. MDLs are established when there are numerous lawsuits with similar allegations. Centralizing the litigation to one court helps streamline the process and make proceedings more efficient.
Xarelto, and other new generation anticoagulants such as Pradaxa, lack a reversal agent if bleeding occurs. This is not the case with warfarin, an older drug. Plaintiffs allege that drug makers marketed Xarelto as a superior alternative to warfarin while failing to disclose the risk of uncontrollable bleeding.