It has been more than two years since the first Xarelto lawsuit was filed in January of 2014 and the growth of the litigation has yet to slow down. Today, according to BloodThinnerHelp.com, more than 5,000 personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed, each one alleging that the blood thinner caused serious harm to a patient.
What Is Xarelto?
Xarelto is a type of blood thinner that is known as a factor Xa inhibitor. The drug was created by Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011. At the time of its approval, the FDA indicated that the drug was to be used as a treatment for atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and for the general use of preventing blood clots.
This blood thinner differs from older blood thinners because it allows patients to take a uniform dose regardless of their age, weight, medical condition, diet, and activity levels. It was for this reason that both doctors and patients quickly became excited about the drug. Prior to Xarelto, patients on blood thinners such as Warfarin had to constantly have blood tests performed to make sure that their current dose was correct. These blood tests could be as frequent as once a week, a huge inconvenience for most patients.
It didn’t take long for Xarelto to become one of the most popular blood thinners available on the market.
Why Are Lawsuits Being Filed Against The Manufacturers?
The thousands of lawsuits that have been filed against the manufacturers of the drug all allege the same thing – that the drug’s side effects caused serious harm to a patient. Nearly 500 of these complaints allege that those side effects resulted in the death of a patient.
The most common side effect noted in these cases is uncontrollable bleeding. Arguably the most dangerous aspect of the drug is that there is currently no FDA approved reversal agent, although recently the administration agreed to fast track the clinical trials for a drug that may be a potential antidote. Until an antidote is approved, doctors have no way of reversing the effects of the blood thinner, which means they can’t get the blood to clot properly if a patient is injured or begins to bleed internally. This places the patient at risk for exsanguination.
In addition to this, patients have claimed that the drug caused serious medical conditions like GI bleeds, spinal hematoma, brain hemorrhage, liver disorders, and pulmonary embolism. These conditions resulted in large medical bills, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. Plaintiffs are hoping to obtain compensation for their losses.
The Xarelto MDL
In December of 2015, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided to consolidate federally filed complaints into MDL 2592.
The purpose of an MDL is to help prevent court backlog and to streamline pretrial proceedings and avoid duplicate discovery. When deciding whether or not to create an MDL, the panel looks at several factors:
- Are there one or more common questions of fact?
- Will a consolidation promote judicial efficiency, economy, and fairness?
- Is the consolidation convenient for all parties involved?
In this case, the panel transferred the complaints involved in MDL 2592 to the Eastern District of Louisiana to be overseen by the honorable Eldron E. Fallon.
Can New Xarelto Lawsuits Be Filed?
Yes. The formation of MDL 2592 does not prevent new lawsuits from being filed and the litigation continues to grow. Anyone who believes that they may have been harmed by Xarelto should contact an attorney to learn about what their legal options are.
Michael Monheit, the managing attorney at Monheit Law, has been working to assist individuals and families who have been harmed by defective drugs and products. In fact, Mr. Monheit served on the Plaintiff’s Steering and Executive Committee for MDL 1148. He understands how stressful it can be to stand up to a major corporation and is committed to making sure that plaintiffs know they have someone on their side.