Due to the number of Xarelto lawsuits that have flooded the clerk’s office, Judge Eldon Fallon has extended the filing deadline by 90 days. There are more than 7,000 lawsuits pending in the multidistrict litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen and Bayer are accused of failing to warn about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding with Xarelto.
Xarelto is an anticoagulant. It is used to prevent the risk of blood clots and related injuries, such as stroke and heart attack, in patients with atrial fibrillation or patients who have undergone knee or hip replacement surgery. Plaintiffs allege that Xarelto makers made misleading statements about the blood thinner, and failed to adequately disclose bleeding risks to patients and their doctors. The drug has been on the market since 2011.
Xarelto bellwether trials are scheduled for February 2017. There is also a group litigation in Philadelphia, where nearly 1,000 cases are pending in a mass tort. Plaintiff allegations are similar in both litigations.
Lawsuits allege that Xarelto, part of a class of new generation blood thinners, was touted as being superior to warfarin. Warfarin is a decades-old blood thinner that requires blood monitoring and dietary restrictions. Xarelto does not have these limitations, but plaintiffs point out that there is no antidote to reverse bleeding if it starts. Warfarin can be reversed with vitamin K. The suits allege that Xarelto makers failed to disclose this information.
The allegations in the Xarelto litigation are very similar to those in Pradaxa litigation. Pradaxa is another new generation anticoagulant. The drug was approved in 2010. More than 4,000 lawsuits were filed over Pradaxa, and on the eve of the trial the manufacturers agreed to settle for $650 million.