August 16, 2016 — A federal judge who oversees 7,000 Xarelto lawsuits has picked two cases for the first “bellwether” trials in February 2017.
The first trial will involve a man from Louisiana who experienced severe gastrointestinal bleeding after using Xarelto to prevent strokes and embolisms, according to Reuters.
The second trial will involve a person who took Xarelto and experienced bleeding in the brain or a cerebral hemorrhage.
U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon has not picked cases for the remaining trials, but they will involve patients who experienced intestinal bleeding after using Xarelto to treat Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolism (PE).
As of August 15, there were 7,254 Xarelto lawsuits pending in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2592) in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
The MDL process is similar to a class action because it centralizes many lawsuits in one court. The difference is that the outcome of “bellwether” trials is not binding on every lawsuit in the MDL. Instead, lawyers use the outcome to negotiate settlements.
Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals are accused of aggressively marketing Xarelto as superior to warfarin despite its lack of a reversal agent. Lawyers say patients should have been warned about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding, permanent disability, and death.