September 5, 2012 — U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon, who presides over the Pradaxa Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), has announced that he wants to “facilitate the just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of this litigation.” There are currently 72 Pradaxa lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern Illinois. Most of the lawsuits allege that Pfizer, the manufacturer of Pradaxa, failed to adequately warn doctors and the public about the bleeding risks of Pradaxa, including the lack of a reversal agent to stop its anti-clotting effects during a bleeding emergency.
When the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) transferred the litigation to Judge Herndon’s court on August 8, 2012, the litigation involved 21 claims in 11 different district courts. The litigation has grown significantly in the last month, and now contains at least 72 cases pending in at least 19 jurisdictions. People who were injured by Pradaxa continue to contact lawyers, and lawsuits continue to be filed into the MDL.
Although the litigation is still in its early stages, Judge Herndon said the Court will “require that this litigation move rapidly,” according to the first case management order that was filed on August 17, 2012. He will soon be accepting applications from lawyers who want leadership roles in the litigation, and warned that “anyone who cannot commit the time to accomplish this goal should not attempt to gain a leadership role.”
Furthermore, Judge Herndon said “the allegations that have been made are quite serious.” He said that an expeditious resolution of the litigation will benefit the plaintiffs who were injured, the defendant who “clearly intends to vigorously defend against the allegations made,” and finally the medical community will benefit. Doctors are still writing prescriptions for Pradaxa, and the litigation could bring attention to the risk-benefit profile of the medication.
If the litigation survives all pre-trial motions, the Court may schedule bellwether trials. These are very common in MDLs. Lawyers choose certain cases that have matters of fact that are common to many other cases, and those select cases go to trial. Once they proceed, decisions made in those cases may set precedent for deciding large numbers of other cases. This helps the litigation move forward as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Judge Herndon said that “the goal of this Court is to try the first case in approximately 18-24 months from the time the scheduling order is set.” This would set the first Pradaxa lawsuits for trial as early as Spring 2014. Although this may not seem very expeditious, it is possible that Pfizer will agree to settle certain cases at an earlier date. However, it is very common for MDLs to continue for a few years, especially when there are hundreds or even thousands of cases.
Judge Herndon is also currently presiding over the Yaz and Yasmin MDLs against Bayer. Those lawsuits are now settling at a rapid pace after Judge Herndon appointed a mediator. Lawyers expect most of the Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits to settle by early 2013.
Do I have a Pradaxa Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Pradaxa injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was injured by severe bleeding, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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