Update: Federal Court Revises Xarelto Product Liability Cases for Trial

XARELTOIn an update of Case Management Order No. 2a, the court in Xarelto MDL 2592 Federal Litigation updated when four bellwether cases will be tried.

  • March 13, 2017:  (E.D. La., atrial fibrillation + gastrointestinal bleed) Joseph J. Boudreaux, Jr., Case No. 2:14-cv-02720.
  • April 24, 2017:  (E.D. La., atrial fibrillation + brain bleed) Joseph Orr, Jr., Case No. 2:15-cv-03708
  • May 30, 2017:  (Mississippi, deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism + gastrointestinal bleed) Dora Mingo, Case No. 2:15-cv-03469.
  • To be set:  (Texas, atrial fibrillation + gastrointestinal bleed) Henry James, Individually and as Executor of the Estate of William Henry, Case No. 2:15-cv-00224.
There are 10,769 cases filed in the MDL. Judge Eldon Fallon postponed the initial bellwether trials on Sept. 21 because of the NBA All-Star game and related logistical issues this will create.

Hemorrhagic or ischemic strokes

US District Judge Eldon E. Fallon ruled in two separate orders on Aug. 11 and 15. Only claims involving hemorrhagic  strokes (caused by internal bleeding, not a blood clot) can be brought in the federal MDL.

“The ischemic stroke claims [stroke caused by blood clot] cannot be brought in the federal MDL because the argument was not made there,” said Mass Tort Expert John Ray. As a result, thousands of ischemic stroke cases have been filed in the Philadelphia Court Of Common Pleas before Judge Arnold L. New.

Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) is a blood-thinning drug manufactured by Bayer Healthcare AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a division of the Johnson and Johnson Corporation. The drug has been the focus of 2,800 lawsuits filed in MDL 2592, alleging that consumers who took the drug face a risk of spontaneous and uncontrollable bleeding. Xarelto has been associated with gastrointestinal bleeding, blood clots, brain hemorrhages and strokes. Plaintiffs also charge that the manufacturers of Xarelto failed to warn public and medical professionals about the very serious risks.

Settlements?

Ray said he foresees the cases settling, but the defendants’ decision will not be based on legal arguments. Instead, he said the main factor will be “how to do it without harming their market share and having doctors continue to write prescriptions for Xarelto.” As the cases mount up, the manufacturers have increased their TV advertising. See Bayer & Janssen Use Celebrities to Promote Xarelto Despite Ongoing Litigation

The defendants include:

  1. Janssen Research & Development LLC
  2. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  3. Janssen Ortho LLC
  4. Johnson & Johnson
  5. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals. Inc.
  6. Bayer Pharma AG.
  7. Bayer Corporation.
  8. Bayer Healthcare LLC.
  9. Bayer Healthcare AG.
  10. Bayer AG.

“The defendants are not playing to win,” he said, “but stockholders will only tolerate the litigation going on for so long,” he said. “The legal case is secondary to them. The defendants are concerned with their stockholders and how the litigation is affecting their stock price. The people involved who are making decisions lose their jobs when the companies have to pay out $3-4 billion in a settlement and the stock price takes a hit,” Ray said.

 

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