Xarelto Lawsuits Consolidated into MDL 2592

A hearing held on December 4, 2015 resulted in the Judicial Panel concluding a multi-district litigation was in order to more efficiently take care of the more than 2,800 Xarelto cases that have been filed against Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. MDL consolidation results in faster litigation, as discovery issues are facilitated and conflicting rulings by multiple pre-trial drugs are eliminated. Litigation costs, as well as the time it takes to go through the trial process, are significantly lessened among those involved in the Xarelto cases when they are consolidated. This particular Xarelto MDL—number 2592—will be heard by the Honorable U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon, who, according to all accounts, is very comfortable with MDL litigation, and will be able to provide the proper leadership in these cases.

Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Resist Xarelto MDL

The defendants in the Xarelto cases, Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), resisted the MDL consolidation in Illinois, as both companies are located in New Jersey. Many Xarelto patients claim they have suffered uncontrollable bleeding episodes after taking the drug. A comparable drug, Pradaxa, shares many similarities with Xarelto. Pradaxa was the subject of more than 3,500 adverse event reports, with 750 fatalities, and the focus of more than 4,000 lawsuits.

Rather than go to trial, Pradaxa’s manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim, made the decision to settle all the lawsuits for $650 million. Of course many Xarelto plaintiffs are hoping Janssen and Bayer AG will do the same. Currently, however, the MDL cases are progressing toward litigation. Judge Fallon gave a deadline of January 11, 2016, for 40 cases to be selected from those filed. From those 40 cases, four cases will be chosen and prepared for bellwether trials. The first Xarelto bellwether trial is expected to begin on February 6 and March 13, 2017. In addition to MDL 2592,there is currently another group of more than 550 Xarelto plaintiffs, which were consolidated into a mass tort program in Philadelphia.

What is Xarelto and What are the Dangers of Xarelto?

Xarelto is an anticoagulant, widely prescribed to prevent blood clots in those who suffer from atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, stroke, and for those who have recently undergone knee or hip replacement surgery. Xarelto is prescribed in place of the older blood-thinning drug, Warfarin, which has been in use since 1954. The manufacturers of Xarelto and Pradaxa touted the advantages of the drugs to consumers and doctors, namely no regular blood monitoring required and no known interactions to foods, drinks or other medications.

What manufacturers did not make widely known to consumers or doctors is that while Warfarin has an antidote—Vitamin K—in the case of a severe bleed, there is no known antidote to Xarelto. The Xarelto cases currently filed claim that if patients and doctors had been aware of the risk of uncontrolled bleeding while taking the drug, they would have opted to take Warfarin instead.

Further Complications from Xarelto

In addition to uncontrolled bleeding, potential Xarelto side effects include decreased hemoglobin, cerebrovascular accidents, hematomas, swelling of the lower limbs and difficulty breathing. Patients taking Xarelto are cautioned to avoid any activity which could result in cuts or bruises. If such an injury does occur—particularly if accompanied by persistent bleeding confusion, dizziness, swelling, changes in vision or severe headaches—it is imperative that medical help be sought immediately.

No Recall of Xarelto in Sight

There is currently no recall of the drug Xarelto, although the FDA is looking into questions as to whether faulty equipment was used to monitor at least some of the patients in the Xarelto clinical trial, making the drug appear superior to Warfarin. The lead researcher of the potentially tainted study has now been nominated by President Obama to head up the FDA. Those who have suffered injuries as a result of taking Xarelto should speak to an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney who can answer any questions and ensure your rights are protected.

National Dangerous Drug Lawyers

If you have suffered medical complications, pain, or excessive bleeding after using Xarelto, your injuries may be the result of a drug manufacturer's negligence. To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call the Philadelphia class action lawyers at Golomb Legaltoday at (215) 278-4449, or fill out our online case evaluation form. Our firm represents injured individuals in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the country.