October 12, 2015 — The federal judge overseeing 1,700 Xarelto lawsuits has set dates for four “bellwether” trials in early 2017.
U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon of the Eastern District of Louisiana issued a Case Management Order (PDF) setting trials for the following dates and locations:
- February 6, 2017 – Eastern District of Louisiana
- March 13, 2017 – Eastern District of Louisiana
- April 24, 2017 – Mississippi (District to be determined)
- May 30, 2017 – Texas (District to be determined)
Judge Fallon gave attorneys until January 11, 2016 to choose a pool of 40 cases as trial candidates. Those cases will undergo discovery in preparation for trials the following year.
All of the lawsuits are centralized in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in Louisiana. The “bellwether” trial process is an important tool that helps attorneys resolve cases involving similar facts and injuries.
The manufacturers of Xarelto, Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Johnson & Johnson), are accused of downplaying the risk of uncontrollable internal bleeding.
Like all blood-thinners, bleeding is the most common serious side effect of Xarelto. However, unlike traditional blood-thinners, Xarelto lacks a reversal agent. In an emergency, doctors might struggle to de-activate Xarelto and stop its blood-thinning effects. Thousands of people have been injured or died from uncontrollable internal bleeding after taking Xarelto.
The allegations are nearly identical to those made in 4,000 lawsuits involving Pradaxa, a blood-thinner made by Boehringer Ingelheim. Just before a trial, the drug-maker agreed to a $650 million settlement, or an average of $150,000 per claim.