The number of lawsuits against the manufacturer of the blood thinner Xarelto is growing in two places: a federal multidistrict litigation court in Louisiana and a mass tort program at a Pennsylvania court. Plaintiffs claim that the drug, which Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary manufactures, can cause irreversible bleeding. Janssen is not the only defendant.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xarelto in 2011 for the following indications:
- To reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, and pulmonary embolism, or PE, that might occur following knee replacement or hip replacement surgery;
- To treat DVT and PE and to reduce their recurrence following initial treatment; and
- To reduce the risk of stroke in people who have a type of abnormal heart rhythm called non-valvular atrial fibrillation.
The U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation in December 2014 established the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana as the court to which federal Xarelto lawsuits would be transferred for uniform pretrial management. As of Jan. 15, 2015, there were 86 pending Xarelto lawsuits before a single judge at the federal trial court.
In an order that transferred the first 21 Xarelto lawsuits to the MDL court, the panel wrote, “On the basis of the papers filed and the hearing session held, we find that the actions … involve common questions of fact and that centralization will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of this litigation.”
The panel further explained, “These actions share common factual questions arising out of allegations that plaintiffs suffered severe bleeding or other injuries as a result of taking Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and that defendants did not adequately warn prescribing physicians or consumers of the risks associated with Xarelto, including the potential for severe or fatal bleeding and the unavailability of a reversal agent to counteract Xarelto’s anticoagulation effects. Issues concerning the development, manufacture, regulatory approval, labeling, and marketing of Xarelto thus are common to all actions. Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary.”
A Pennsylvania court established a similar grouping of Xarelto lawsuits on Jan. 20, 2015. The Philadelphia-based First Judicial District of Pennsylvania created a Xarelto Mass Tort Litigation Program to which the court transferred dozens of Xarelto lawsuits.
The manufacturer acknowledged the bleeding risk in the drug’s warnings. The FDA approved a labeling change in January 2014 that added the following language: “Risk of Bleeding: Promptly evaluate any signs or symptoms of blood loss and consider the need for blood replacement… Reversal of Anticoagulant Effect: A specific antidote for rivaroxaban is not available.”
Help for the Victim
Anyone who has used Xarelto and since has suffered severe bleeding may be entitled to compensation. The same applies to the family members of decedents whose bleeding injuries proved fatal.
If you are among the victims of Xarelto, our Maryland personal injury attorneys want to help. We have considerable experience and a successful track record in product liability litigation. We will analyze your circumstances at no charge and determine your legal options. Get in Touch with us for a free consultation. Our toll-free number is 1-888-540-2599.
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