April 5, 2017 — The first “bellwether” trial out of 17,000 Xarelto lawsuits involving uncontrollable bleeding is set for April 24, followed by another trial on May 30, unless lawyers agree on a settlement this month.
There are currently 1,343 lawsuits pending at the state level in Philadelphia. Another 15,611 lawsuits were centralized at the federal level in the Eastern District of Louisiana as of March 15, 2017.
The federal cases are centralized in Multi-district Litigation (MDL No. 2592) under U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon. In the MDL process, lawyers pick a group of lawsuits for “bellwether” trials and use the outcomes to determine how a jury might respond to evidence in lawsuits involving similar injuries.
The first trial is scheduled for April 24, 2017 in Louisiana. It will involve Joseph Boudreaux, Jr., a man who was suffered internal bleeding after taking Xarelto for about a month. He was hospitalized and received blood transfusions — Case No. 2:14-cv-02720.
The second trial is scheduled for May 30, 2017 in Louisiana. It will involve Joseph Orr, a man who blames Xarelto for causing his wife’s death from cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain — Case No. 2:15-cv-03708.
The third and fourth trial dates will be set sometime in June 2017, unless lawyers negotiate a settlement or other legal resolution.
The third trial will involve Dora Mingo, a woman who took Xarelto for blood clots and was injured by gastrointestinal bleeding. It will be located in federal court in Mississippi. The fourth trial will involve William Henry, a man who took Xarelto for atrial fibrillation and died of gastrointestinal bleeding. It will be located in federal court in Texas.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson are accused of downplaying the risk of bleeding from Xarelto. All blood-thinners cause bleeding, but Xarelto lacks a reversal agent to stop bleeding in an emergency, unlike the traditional blood-thinner Coumadin (warfarin).
Boehringer Ingelheim faced nearly identical allegations in 4,000 lawsuits involving Pradaxa (dabigatran), another blood-thinner that was introduced without a reversal agent. The company paid $650 million to settle the lawsuits just before the first bellwether trials began, paying an average of $162,500 to each victim who suffered bleeding.