Last month, U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon rejected the latest attempts by Xarelto makers, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer, to dodge consumers’ efforts to hold them accountable. Judge Fallon denied the defendants’ request for partial summary judgment, allowing the third bellwether trial to proceed as scheduled this week, Righting Injustice reports.
Dora Mingo is the third plaintiff to go to trial in the Xarelto multidistrict litigation centralized in the United States District Court for the Eastern District for Louisiana and is one of the 17,593 claims pending against the pharmaceutical giants. Plaintiffs are suing over the drugmakers’ failure to warn consumers about the potential for Xarelto to increase a patient’s risk of internal bleeding. Following hip replacement surgery in 2015, Dora was given Xarelto to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) she developed after the surgery. While being treated with Xarelto, Dora began experiencing gastrointestinal bleeding, was hospitalized and remained in the Intensive Care Unit until doctors could stabilize her condition.
Dora claims that Janssen and Bayer should have instructed her doctor and others prescribing Xarelto to monitor its anticoagulant effect on individual patients with a simple blood test. Since patients taking Xarelto have a higher bleeding risk than patients using other oral anticoagulants, the monitoring is essential to determine if the patient will benefit from the drug or if the drug will exacerbate the already high risk of internal bleeding. The Defendants argued that Xarelto’s label warned of the bleeding risk Dora experienced and that her doctor was aware of that risk. However, their argument failed to address Dora’s allegation that they should have provided doctors with instructions for monitoring, so that question will now be presented to a jury.
Xarelto is FDA approved to prevent strokes for patients with atrial fibrillation, to prevent blood clots forming in post-orthopedic surgery patients, and to treat or prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Janssen and Bayer developed and marketed Xarelto as a more convenient alternative to warfarin and one that did not require coagulation monitoring. Both drugs can cause major internal bleeding and brain hemorrhages. However, while warfarin has an antidote to reverse the blood thinning effects in the event of a bleeding emergency, Janssen and Bayer have not developed a similar antidote for Xarelto.
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.
US Government Publishing Office