A federal judge has ordered that bellwether trials will take place starting in February for lawsuits involved in Xarelto multidsitrict litigation docket No. 2592. These bellwether trials are designed to give both defendants and plaintiffs an idea of how a jury may respond to future trials.
Judge Eldon Fallon ordered that bellwether trial selections will begin from a pool of more than 40 complaints containing similar allegations. Of this larger pool, only four cases will be chosen to be heard during bellwether trials. According to recent announcements, the first two of four cases will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, while the third will be heard in Mississippi and the fourth in Texas.
The initial two cases are currently scheduled for February 6, 2017 and March 13, 2017, the third case is scheduled to be heard on April 24th of 2017, and the final is scheduled for May 30, 2017. The cases involved in the MDL now number approximately 2,200, and similarly allege that blood thinning drug Xarelto can cause dangerous uncontrollable bleeding episodes in patients taking it.
No antidote for four years
Plaintiffs additionally allege that Xarelto manufacturers Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a division of Johnson & Johnson), and Bayer AG were negligent to release an anticoagulant to the market with no corresponding antidote to accompany it. Despite the fact that Xarelto has now been on the market for more than four years, the companies have yet to offer an antidote for patients.
Xarelto’s lack of antidote can turn even a small injury into a dangerous situation. When someone with Xarelto in their system begins to bleed, that blood is unable to clot. In these instances, the patient can quickly lose too much blood, and therefore would require life-saving treatments, such as blood transfusions or surgery.
Patients who use traditional blood thinners do not have this issue, as they have an antidote available through vitamin K. If someone taking a traditional blood thinner begins to bleed, physicians can make their blood clot by treating them with vitamin K. This can be a lifesaving difference in emergency situations.