December 2, 2014

Xarelto lawsuits may be consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL)

Xarelto-lawsuitOrals arguments to have multiple Xarelto lawsuits brought against Xarelto manufacturer Janssen Research & Development LLC consolidated for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in the Southern District Court of Illinois will be heard this Thursday, December 4th.  The case, In Re: Xarelto Products Liability Litigation, was filed in early October by six plaintiffs seeking the consolidation of theirs and 21 other similar suits into a MDL.

While defendant Janssen Research & Development claims the suits brought by the plaintiffs will only exacerbate the court’s workload with similar drug lawsuits, the plaintiffs state that the court’s experience is highly relevant to Xarelto injury cases.  The Southern District Court of Illinois previously settled drug MDLs relatively quickly – Pradaxa suits were settled in less than two years and Yaz claims were settled in less than two and a half years. The plaintiffs note in their brief the court is most fit to handle Xarelto claims due to its experience with litigation arising from Pradaxa, another blood thinning agent.

Xarelto bleed outs

Since being put on the pharmaceutical market in 2012, Xarelto has been touted as a more convenient drug to treat deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolisms, and stroke.  The blood thinner Xarelto allegedly does not require as much patient testing as its predecessor, warfarin.  While patients may prefer fewer visits to the doctor, Xarelto has a significant drawback: the lack of an antidote when gastrointestinal bleeding or other “bleed outs” occur.

Xarelto has been prescribed to over one million people in the United States and seven million worldwide.  Sales of Xarelto rose from $665 million in 2012 to over $2 billion in 2013 while Janssen Research & Development spent $11 million on ads in medical journals to prescribing physicians in that time.  The defendants are alleged to have sent millions of direct-to-patient advertisements to persons nationwide in an effort to coax patients into asking for Xarelto prescriptions from their doctors.

In the course of research and marketing to patients, the makers of Xarelto allegedly overstated the efficiency of Xarelto over warfarin, did not disclose the anticoagulation effects of the drug, and failed to mention the lack of a reversal agent should a bleed out occur.  The plaintiffs allege a lack of proper labeling, failure to warn of side effects, and a breach of warranty.

Because thousands more Xarelto injury claims could be filed against the maker of Xarelto with similar questions for the courts to consider, the plaintiffs seek MDL status and want the cases to be heard in the Southern District Court of Illinois.  Attorneys for the plaintiffs note the track record of timely settlements and similar cases being heard in this court in particular as well as the judges’ experience with the scientific evidence presented at similar MDL cases.

The Cochran Firm, D.C. is actively investigating Xarelto bleeding injury claims. If you or a loved one took Xarelto and suffered severe health problems, please contact us for a free, prompt, and confidential case consultation. Because litigation is moving forward and strict time deadlines apply to filing a claim, please contact us at your earliest convenience.