Please note: The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is no longer accepting Pradaxa claims. If you feel that you may have a potential case, we urge you to locate another law firm adequately suited to handle your claim.
January 7, 2013 — Lawyers involved in the Pradaxa (dabigatran) litigation will begin negotiating a potential settlement this year. Judge David Herndon issued a Unified Case Management Plan in October 2012, which requires lawyers to select settlement counsel by July 1, 2013. Beginning in August, they will meet once per month with a mediator to discuss a possible settlement. Judge Herndon has also scheduled four “bellwether” trials to begin one year later, in August 2014, which will commence if a settlement cannot be reached.
The litigation currently involves about 120 Pradaxa lawsuits. They have been transferred into a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) before Judge Herndon in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. This year, parties for both sides will begin deposing expert witnesses. They will also select the plaintiffs for the first trials.
The trials, known as “bellwether” trials, are a common way of expediting a resolution of large pharmaceutical litigation. Although a settlement can be reached at any time during the litigation, decisions in the bellwether trials can help settlement negotiations because they provide a gauge for how a jury might decide other cases with similar injuries or legal questions.
The first trials in the Pradaxa litigation have been scheduled for the following dates:
- MDL Bellwether # 1 — August 11, 2014
- Connecticut State Court Trial — September 22, 2014
- MDL Bellwether #2 — November 3, 2014
- MDL Bellwether #3 — January 5, 2015
- MDL Bellwether #4 — February 16, 2015
The lawsuits have been centralized in an MDL because they all involve similar circumstances. Pradaxa (dabigatran), a blood-thinning medication, was introduced in 2010 as the first major competitor for Coumadin (warfarin), a blood-thinner that has been used since the 1950s. One difference between Pradaxa and warfarin is that while warfarin can be inactivated with a dose of Vitamin K, Pradaxa can only be inactivated with hours of dialysis treatment. Most of the lawsuits have been filed by people who allege that the manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim, did not do enough to warn about the serious risk of uncontrollable bleeding in Pradaxa patients.