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Motion Filed to Centralize Eliquis Lawsuits in MDL


October 19, 2016 — Lawyers for dozens of people who experienced severe bleeding after taking the blood-thinning drug Eliquis have asked a panel of federal judges to centralize the lawsuits in one court.

The motion (PDF) was filed on October 13 with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML).

At least 34 lawsuits have been filed in 13 district courts nationwide, all accusing Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb of failing to warn about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding.

Eliquis (apixaban) belongs to a new class of blood-thinning drugs designed to replace warfarin. But unlike warfarin, which is de-activated with Vitamin K, Eliquis has no reversal agent. This could be a problem for patients who are injured or need emergency surgery.

Lawyers asked judges to consolidate all federal Eliquis lawsuits in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

They said this location would be suitable because the defendants are headquartered in that district and approximately half of the lawsuits (16) are already filed in New York.

Centralizing a large number of lawsuits in an MDL can improve efficiency, avoid duplicative discovery, and prevent conflicting rulings. In most cases, lawyers pick a small number of cases for “bellwether” trials and use the outcomes to negotiate settlements.

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