The multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving Xarelto lawsuits against Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson continues to move forward. More than 2,800 lawsuits have been consolidated to the MDL, which is centralized to Louisiana federal court. Another 550 lawsuits have been consolidated in a mass tort in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In total, there are over 3,000 Xarelto lawsuits pending in the United States.
One lawsuit, originally filed in Vermont but now consolidated into the MDL, was filed by a plaintiff who alleged that Xarelto caused her father to suffer a fatal brain bleed. The lawsuit alleged that he suffered from a parenchymal hemorrhage, a type of brain bleed, and that doctors were unable to save him because the drug was still in his system. These allegations are similar to those other Xarelto lawsuits, where plaintiffs allege that drug makers failed to warn about the lack of a reversal agent if a patient suffers internal bleeding.
Plaintiffs point out that warfarin, an older anticoagulant that was the standard treatment previously, does not carry a risk of uncontrollable bleeding. Drugs such as Xarelto and Pradaxa were marketed as an alternative to warfarin, which requires blood monitoring and dietary restrictions.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established the MDL because similar allegations were being made among many lawsuits. Centralizing similar lawsuits into an MDL makes legal proceedings more streamlined and efficient.