Two plaintiffs in the Xarelto Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) are not giving up on holding Xarelto makers Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals accountable for uncontrolled bleeding events they say were caused by the drug. Joseph Bordeaux and Joseph Orr filed notices of appeal last month in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District for Louisiana, where the MDL is located.
Both cases, which were tried before juries, ended with verdicts in favor of the defendants. Collectively, the men are appealing nine of the court’s decisions to the Fifth Circuit, including orders in September denying their requests for new trials, Law360 explains. They are also appealing an April 13 order, in which the judge rejected the plaintiffs’ attempts to block speculative testimony and other opinions by defense witnesses.
As Beasley Allen previously described, Bordeaux sued the drugmakers in December 2014 after using Xarelto for less than a month. He suffered a severe gastrointestinal bleed that landed him in the hospital and forced him to endure several blood transfusions. Similarly, Orr’s wife Sharyn suffered a fatal brain bleed while taking Xarelto.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation reports that more than 18,000 claims are pending as part of the Xarelto MDL and another 1,500 are pending in the mass tort program in Philadelphia County courts, according to Law.com. Plaintiffs claim that Janssen and Bayer failed to develop a monitoring test specific to Xarelto and failed to instruct doctors on how to use currently available tests to measure Xarelto’s anticoagulant effect on patients’ blood. Such monitoring would allow doctors to assess whether patients benefited from the use or were at risk of severe internal bleeding.
In September, Beasley Allen explained that another plaintiff, Dora Mingo, has requested a new trial after new, contradictory evidence surfaced at the end of her trial, which resulted in a defense verdict. A published study conducted by defendant Bayer’s own leading scientists showed that a standard lab test may be used to monitor patients taking Xarelto. However, defense testimony denied such a test existed. Plaintiff lawyers believe the new information could have changed the outcome of the trial.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xarelto to prevent strokes for patients with atrial fibrillation (A-fib), to prevent blood clots forming in post-orthopedic surgery patients, and to treat or prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Less than three years after Xarelto’s initial approval, the FDA issued black box warnings because of the Xarelto’s significant risk of severe, uncontrolled internal bleeding, which occurs most frequently in patients’ gastrointestinal tracts and brains. Unlike its predecessor warfarin, Xarelto does not have an antidote to reverse the blood thinning process.
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Lawyers in Beasley Allen’s Mass Torts Section continue to investigate injuries suffered by patients who took Xarelto. Injuries include gastrointestinal, rectal and brain bleeds, and deaths caused by major bleeding events. If you would like more information, contact Joseph VanZandt, a lawyer in the Mass Torts Section. You can reach him at 800-898-2034 or by email at Joseph.Vanzandt@beasleyallen.com.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation