In New Orleans, District Judge Eldon Fallon has guided the consolidated litigation through pre-trial proceedings. Now, the cases are ready for trial and Judge Fallon has scheduled a total of 40 lawsuits as “bellwether” trials, the results of which will go shape settlement negotiations. And three of these trials have already gone to court. Unfortunately, all three cases have ended in verdicts for the defense, but plaintiffs’ attorneys agree that there’s no reason to dismay just yet. We still have 37 bellwether trials to go, and the case against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer, lawyers say, is strong.
Blood Thinner Risk Studies Worry Medical Researchers
To date, a number of major research initiatives, published in such storied journals as the British Medical Journal and the New England Journal of Medicine, have found that Xarelto causes higher rates of gastrointestinal bleeding than warfarin, the industry standard anticoagulant.
Even more important, however, and often overlooked in attorney TV ads, is that Xarelto was approved and released to the US market without an antidote. Traditional blood thinners, on the other hand, come with effective reversal agents that can turn back a drug’s anticoagulant effects.
There’s Still No Antidote For Xarelto
These antidotes literally save lives, and make a particularly crucial difference, when blood thinner patients suffer traumatic injuries. The effects of warfarin, as just one example, can be reversed through a simple shot of Vitamin K or infusion of donor blood plasma. Xarelto, however, was introduced to the medical community with no effective antidote.
While a potential reversal agent has now been discovered, it remains unapproved and thus unavailable to cardiovascular surgeons and trauma doctors. This is not a small matter. Thousands of injured patients and families argue in their lawsuits that Xarelto’s lack of an available antidote renders the drug too dangerous to be prescribed. Once it begins, the bleeding linked to Xarelto, in many cases, cannot be stopped. Doctors have been left helpless, as patients bleed out under tragic circumstances. The result, for many patients, is permanent injury or, even worse, death.
Hundreds of families have been left to grieve the deaths of their closest loved ones, even as they struggle to pay back the often-exorbitant medical expenses for their late-family member’s care. Many plaintiffs’ attorneys believe this is an unacceptable situation. Patients and families, they say, shouldn’t be forced to pay for the alleged side effects of Xarelto.
Thousands Call Anticoagulant “Defective” & “Dangerous”
That’s why more than 18,000 people have now filed product liability lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer. Both companies, lawsuits accuse, failed to warn the public and medical community of Xarelto’s true bleeding risks. Citing recent high-profile reports, including a story in the New York Times, plaintiffs claim that corporate-funded researchers deceived editors at prominent medical journals by concealing safety test data that would have put Xarelto in a harsh light.
In one case, a host of clinical data was suspiciously left out of a Duke University study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The odd omission led Dr. Lisa Schwartz, a professor of medicine at Dartmouth College, to say, “it just feels like it’s a real ethical breach.” Turns out that this same study had also been using a faulty blood-testing device for three years, which could render the project’s findings erroneous.
Again, this is only one pertinent example of the deceit and fraudulence that plaintiffs accuse Bayer and Johnson & Johnson of engaging in. But much of their argument relies on the simple fact that Xarelto was approved without an appropriate antidote, which in the minds of many patients, makes the drug inherently more dangerous than alternative options.
Learn More About Filing A Lawsuit
While our own product liability attorneys do not produce TV commercials, we are committed to providing patients and families with the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on the most important litigations. We’re also here to help in more concrete ways.
If you or a loved one experienced severe side effects after being prescribed Xarelto, contact our experienced lawyers today for a free consultation. You can learn more about case eligibility and legal options at no charge and no obligation.