Lawsuits against, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the developers/manufacturers of the drug Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) have made headlines recently. After a contested battle of lawyers from around the country, it was decided that the numerous Xarelto lawsuits currently pending, and those to be filed in the future, would be consolidated in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The lawsuits are to be joined together in the Eastern District of Louisiana, the federal court in New Orleans, before Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Lawyers for Xarelto patients successfully argued that Judge Fallon was the right choice to oversee the New Orleans Xarelto Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). After all, he has significant experience with suits of this sort, having overseen the consolidated litigation against Merck & Co. relating to the painkiller Vioxx.
What is Xarelto?
Americans are frequently exposed to commercials for the blood-thinner Xarelto (even after the lawsuits against the drug manufacturers were filed) but may not know exactly what Xarelto does. Xarelto is a prescription medication that is used to prevent blood clots, particularly for users with an irregular heartbeat or who have undergone knee or hip replacement surgery.
Xarelto has been on the market for several years, after it first received FDA approval in July 2011. Xarelto has been marketed as an alternative to Warfarin (Coumadin), a decades old blood clot medication. One of the selling points of Xarelto was that according to Bayer and Janssen it, unlike other medications, did not require blood tests to determine the proper dosage for the medication.
It has proven to be a highly profitable product, accounting for billions of dollars in sales since going on the market. Millions of dollars that have been spent and continue to be spent by the drug companies on advertising.
What Are the Claims in the Xarelto Lawsuits?
The plaintiffs/victims claim Xarelto causes uncontrollable bleeding, which can lead to severe injuries and even death. Studies have shown that Xarelto would be more effective and less likely to result in uncontrollable bleeding if adequate monitoring was in place.
Another problem with Xarelto is that it, unlike Warfarin, has no antidote. In other words, there is no FDA-approved way to reverse the blood-thinning effects of Xarelto, which makes the possibility of a deadly bleeding event that much more likely. The effects can be stopped when the drug exits the body, but this can take as long as 24 hours to occur.
The Xarelto lawsuits claim that the manufacturers released a drug that was overly dangerous and misled the public about its safety, despite the bleeding risks. The Xarelto lawsuits also claim that there have been over 150 deaths attributed to Xarelto use.
What Does it Mean That the Xarelto Lawsuits Are “Consolidated”?
The New Orleans Xarelto MDL will focus on all pre-trial matters involving Xarelto cases filed around the countrThis means they are only consolidated for the fact-gathering and preliminary portion of the case. Once that phase is completed, the cases (if not settled) will return to wherever they were filed to go to trial.
This approach reduces the costs for all of the parties involved. Injured people whose cases become a part of the consolidated proceeding still get to keep their own lawyers and have their cases treated individually.
New Orleans Xarelto Multidistrict Litigation
If you or a loved one has experienced a bleeding event or death while prescribed to Xarelto, The Mahone Firm is here to help with our New Orleans Xarelto lawyer. Call (504) 564-7342 to discuss your case with a New Orleans Xarelto attorney.
The deadline to file a Xarelto lawsuit may be as soon as one year from date of first injury, so don’t delay in speaking with a Xarelto attorney.