August 6, 2015 — Bayer HealthCare disclosed in a regulatory filing last month that lawsuits have been filed on behalf of about 1,200 people who took the blood-thinner Xarelto and had bleeding injuries. Nearly 200 more people joined the litigation this week.
Bayer also said six class action lawsuits had been filed in Canada as of July 17.
But earlier this week, another 198 people were named in four separate Xarelto lawsuits filed in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2592) in federal court in Louisiana. Last month, federal judges said over 800 lawsuits had already been centralized in the MDL.
All of the lawsuits involve bleeding in the brain (cerebral hemorrhage), gastrointestinal bleeding, hematuria, subdural hematoma, and death.
U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon oversees the litigation. He has scheduled the first trial for August 1, 2016, with three more trials set to begin by October 17.
These so-called “bellwether” trials are not binding on other lawsuits, but they can help lawyers gauge a jury’s response to evidence and help all parties negotiate a settlement or other resolution.
All of the lawsuits accuse Bayer of downplaying the bleeding risks of Xarelto. The once-daily pill was marketed as superior to warfarin, but unlike warfarin, there is no easy way to reverse the blood-thinning effects of Xarelto. In an emergency, there is a risk that patients could die from uncontrollable bleeding if Xarelto cannot be de-activated.