Janssen Pharmaceutical and Bayer Healthcare have been named as defendants in multiple Xarelto lawsuits for their roles in making and marketing the drug, respectively. These legal actions stem from the severe bleeding experienced by some patients after having taken Xarelto.
Why Someone Might File a Xarelto Lawsuit
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is an anticoagulant – a type of drug commonly known as a blood-thinner. It works by inhibiting an enzyme known as “factor X,” which prevents blood from clotting. People often take Xarelto after surgery or if they have a high risk of developing blood clots.
Unfortunately, Xarelto does not have an antidote to reverse its effects. That means, if somebody is cut or injured while taking the drug, they could bleed to death even from a relatively minor cut, since there is no way to stop the bleeding.
Because Xarelto side effects can be so severe, people who have experienced uncontrollable bleeding after taking Xarelto are suing Janssen – a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (also the subject of thousands of talcum powder lawsuits)– and Bayer for putting them at risk and causing injury. In cases where individuals have died of blood loss after taking Xarelto, their family members have brought wrongful death claims against these companies.
Compensation Recovered from Xarelto Lawsuits
There are several types of compensation a person might receive by filing a Xarelto claim:
Recover medical expenses: The detrimental effects of Xarelto often leads to other health problems that require follow-up visits or even emergency care. These expenses can rack up quickly and may not always be covered by insurance.
Lost income: The medical visits described above may have a secondary effect of causing someone to miss work or otherwise lose out on income-generating activities.
Pain and suffering: There is a distinct physical and emotional toll of being subjected to the adverse effects of Xarelto. Damages may be awarded to help compensate a victim for their pain and suffering.
Punitive action: Xarelto has brought these large pharmaceutical companies billions of dollars in revenue. Punishing them financially lets them know that they need to take better care to ensure their drugs are safe and effective for the people taking them.
Funeral expenses: In the tragic cases where Xarelto has contributed to someone’s death, their surviving family members may be able to recoup costs related to their untimely death and burial.
Xarelto Multidistrict Litigation
Most Xarelto lawsuits are being handled by a special federal court process known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). An MDL allows many people who have the same (or very similar) complaints to follow an established process for filing their claims, which are reviewed by justices familiar with the intricacies of the case.
Xarelto is handled under MDL No. 2592 in the Eastern District of Louisiana. It was established on December 12, 2014, when the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order for 21 cases from 8 different states into the MDL.
The transfer order lists several common complaints among those who filed Xarelto claims:
- The inadequacy of labels on Xarelto packaging about the potential for severe bleeding (as well as other harmful effects);
- The omission of results from some clinical trials on the warning label;
- The need for monitoring a patient’s blood while taking the drug.
Janssen and Bayer tried to prevent these cases from being centralized under a single MDL by arguing that each individual case was different, among other things. However, the judicial panel overseeing MDLs ultimately denied the big pharmaceutical companies’ claims and went ahead with the transfer order.
The first Xarelto bellwether case is scheduled to begin in March 2017, overseen by Judge Eldon E. Fallon. Two additional bellwether cases are scheduled to begin in April 2017 and May 2017, respectively.