Bellwether Cases Chosen in Xarelto Litigation

The Xarelto litigation appears to be moving forward, as four cases are reportedly selected for bellwether trials. Judge Eldon Fallon of the Eastern District of Louisiana, administrator of the multidistrict litigation (MDL), has selected the first lawsuits that will go to trial. The outcome of bellwether trials can have a significant impact on the remainder of the litigation; they are chosen to provide a sense of how similar lawsuits will result.

Xarelto is an anticoagulant medication that was approved in 2011. It is one of several new generation blood thinners touted as a superior option to warfarin, an older drug that requires frequent blood monitoring and dietary restrictions. Plaintiffs in the Xarelto litigation allege that Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals failed to adequately warn about the bleeding risks. In patients taking Xarelto and other newer blood thinners, such as Pradaxa, there is no antidote to reverse the bleeding if it occurs. Bleeding in warfarin patients, on the other hand, can be treated.

Plaintiffs in the Xarelto litigation allege they were subjected to an increased risk of uncontrollable bleeding, without being warned. Alleged injuries include gastrointestinal bleeding, strokes and brain hemorrhages.

Judge Fallon previously issued a January 11, 2016 directive that compiled a pool of 40 cases. The first two bellwether cases were selected among them, and have been scheduled for February 6th and March 13th. The second two cases are scheduled for April 24th and May 30th.

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