The judge overseeing federal Xarelto product liability litigation ordered defendant Bayer to turn over the personnel records of two doctors on its payroll who can testify about plaintiff claims that the blood-thinner drug was rushed to the market.
The plaintiffs also seek the records because they may contain evidence of aggressive compensation schemes or rush-to-the-market liability, which is vital to their case-in-chief.
US District Judge Eldon E. Fallon ordered the company to turn over redacted copies the personnel files of Dr. Dagmar Kubitza, Head of Clinical Pharmacodynamics, and Frank Misselwitz, Corporate Vice President, both working in Germany. Excluded from the records are performance reviews, evaluations for promotion and self-assessments.
The court weighed five factors listed the Third Restatement, as referenced in Seoul Semiconductor Co. v. Nichia Corp., 590 F. Supp. 2d 832, 835 (E.D. Tex. 2008).
Evasiveness by Bayer
“The Court is concerned by the evasiveness exhibited by Bayer in certain depositions and is troubled by the possibility of further evasive responses by deponents,” Judge Fallon wrote. “As this is a nationwide MDL, the rights of thousands of American citizens hinge on the timely production of materials that fall within the scope of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.”
Thousands of case filings are increasing court dockets in the Xarelto mass tort litigation in federal court and also the Philadelphia Court Of Common Pleas. Only claims involving hemorrhagic strokes (caused by internal bleeding, not a blood clot) can be brought in the federal MDL. As a result, thousands of ischemic stroke cases have been filed in the Philadelphia before Judge Arnold L. New.
Defendants in the MDL include Bayer Healthcare, the designer and manufacturer of Xarelto. Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Division of Johnson & Johnson) currently sells Xarelto in the United States pursuant to a licensing agreement with Bayer. Plaintiffs involved in the MDL have suffered various harmful side effects, including:
- Gastrointestinal Bleeding,
- Intracranial Hemorrhage,
- Hemorrhagic and Other Severe Internal Bleeding,
- Stroke, &
- Death (due to one of the aforementioned injuries).
A complete set of federal MDL forms can be online on the Mass Tort Nexus app.