This happened quickly. Xarelto came on to the market three years ago. Now there is a class action type MDL that has been created because there are too many lawsuits. This does not speak well to this drug and it does not speak well to Johnson & Johnson and Bayer, who introduced Xarelto with so much pomp, circumstance and excitement that it might be a drug that could really change the quality of people’s lives.
What the MDL Means?
I always call an MDL a “sort of” class action. All federally filed cases — which is the vast majority of these claim and virtually all of the Maryland claims — are consolidated under one federal judge in a single jurisdiction, Louisiana in this case. When a lawsuit is filed, the lawyers have an opportunity to conduct discovery where both sides get a chance to learn about the case. In the Xarelto lawsuits, there are some facts common to all of these claims. The biggest issue is going to be what Bayer and J&J knew or should have known about the bleeding risks associated with Xarelto.
So after this common issue discovery is done and some basic information is uncovered about the plaintiffs (via something often called a fact sheet), the federal court judge will usually preside over a number of trials. The purpose of this is to get the cases settled. Before trials, pharmaceutical companies drastically undervalue cases. In fairness, plaintiffs’ lawyers overvalue them, too, although I don’t think they are as bad as the drug companies lawyers who always seem convinced that the plaintiffs’ case can’t be won until right up to the time when the jury hits them with a multi-million dollar verdict.
If a global settlement still cannot be reached after the first round of trials, the cases will be sent back to their proper jurisdictions to bring their claims. So a lawsuit that would have appropriately been filed in Maryland District Court but for the MDL would then be returned to Maryland. Hopefully, it never goes this far and a settlement can be reached that compensates the victims of these claims adequately and fairly.
So far, there have only been about two dozen lawsuits filed. But I think there will be tons more as many plaintiffs’ attorneys have been waiting in the wings for the MDL to file their lawsuits. I think the MDL Panel also thought so or these cases likely would not have been consolidated.
Why These Xarelto Bleeding Lawsuits Are Being Filed?
Xarelto,or rivaroxaban, is an anticoagulant that treats deep vein thrombosis (“DVT”) and pulmonary embolism (“PE”) It is also used for the reduction in the risk of recurrence of DVT and of PE and to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation and for the prophylaxis of DVT, which causes people with a pulmonary embolism to undergo knee or hip replacement surgery.
There is a real upside to Xarelto over its competitors. I don’t want to minimize it. Unlike warfarin/Coumadin, the old school blood thinner of choice, constant blood monitoring was not necessary. Xarelto was touted — and it is — as a revolutionary product that was the only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for atrial fibrillation patients that was not caused by a heart valve problem that did not burden the patient with constant monitoring.
The drug companies made a lot of noise about a lot of Xarelto benefits to sell the product that made the FDA pretty angry. It is fun to point this out and it underscores all plaintiffs’ attorneys’ leitmotif of how these companies would shoot their own parents in the head to chase down a few more dollars. But it is not the problem that really matters.
Xarelto has a bleeding problem that no one was talking about that is getting people hurt and killed. It sounds like a tort reformer’s dream. Plaintiffs’ attorneys complaining about a drug that is supposed to cause thinner blood causing bleeding. That is how the drug companies are desperate to frame these cases. But it is more complicated than that. Plaintiffs’ lawsuits allege Xarelto bleeding risks are far greater that other options patients had. This alone is cause to bring a failure to warn of the risks lawsuits against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson.
But the problem is even bigger. Xarelto lawsuits allege that these companies knew (or at least should have known) that there is no reversal agent to stop Xarelto’s bleeding problems. So doctors may see an out of control bleed, diagnose it quickly, but still not be able to change the course because of the lack of a reversal agent. Xarelto’s Medication Guide failed to address the risks associated with irreversible bleeding. Doctors and patients rely on tools like this and the package insert because the people making and marketing Xarelto have inferior knowledge to both doctors and patients.
Who Are the Defendants in These Cases?
Regular defendants in these cases are:
- Johnson & Johnson
- Centocor Ortho
Hiring a Lawyer for Your Xarelto
Our law firm is looking at Xarelto lawsuit in Maryland and around the country. If you have claim, call us today at 800-553-8082 or get a free on-line consultation.