Thousands of Xarelto lawsuit have been filed in courts around the U.S., as patients allege the new-generation blood-thinner caused serious, and in some cases, life-threatening episodes of internal bleeding. Among other things, these claims accuse the manufacturers of the medication of wrongly representing it as an improvement over warfarin, an anticoagulant that has been on the market for decades. The complaints also allege that the drug makers failed to provide doctors and patients with adequate warnings regarding the lack of an antidote for the internal bleeding that can sometimes accompany use of Xarelto.
Xarelto is among a number of new blood thinners launched in recent years known as direct thrombin inhibitors. The medication, which is manufactured by Bayer Healthcare and marketed in the U.S. by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, was approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
Direct thrombin inhibitors, which also include blood thinners sold as Pradaxa and Eliquis, prevent blood clots by inhibiting an enzyme (known as factor II or thrombin) that plays a role in coagulation. The companies that make these products have marketed the medications as superior alternatives to warfarin because they do not require that dosage be monitored via regular blood tests.
One key difference between Xarelto and warfarin is the lack of an antidote to reverse the internal bleeding that is a potential side effect of any anticoagulant. In warfarin patients, this complication can be reversed via the administration of vitamin K. But if hemorrhaging should occur in Xarelto patients, dialysis may be required to remove the drug from the body in order to bring bleeding under control.
Plaintiffs in Xarelto lawsuits claim that the lack of a reversal agent for internal bleeding means that even a minor trauma, such as a bump on the head, can turn deadly for some patients. They further allege that uncontrollable bleeding tied to the medication has dangerous consequences, including:
According to a report published by Reuters in June 2014, Bayer has acknowledged being named in at least 10 individual Xarelto lawsuit filings in U.S. courts. However, some legal experts believe that hundreds of additional cases, including Xarelto class action complaints, will be filed in the coming months.
If you or a loved one were harmed by this blood thinner, there are a couple of options for pursuing a Xarelto lawsuit. These include filing an individual claims, or joining any class action that seeks compensation for victims of the drug. To make the right decision for you and your family, it’s important to understand the differences between these two choices.
As of June 2014, all of the Xarelto bleeding cases pending in U.S. courts were individual claims. In this type of case, each plaintiff is able to maintain total control over their lawsuit. They will choose their own lawyers, and each will have the final say as to whether or not to accept any settlement offered by the drug makers, or to take their lawsuit to trial. While Xarelto cases could eventually be consolidated in a single federal and/or state court for pretrial proceedings, each complaint will be evaluated on its own merits. Any damages awarded in an individual case will be based on a plaintiff’s specific injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In a Xarelto class action, a group of plaintiffs known as a “Class” would file one single lawsuit against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. One plaintiff appointed as a “Class Representative” will make most of the major decisions – such as the choice of attorney and acceptance of any settlement – affecting the claim. If plaintiffs win their class action suit, it’s likely that each would receive the same amount of compensation, regardless of the severity of their injuries or related damages. Finally, and most importantly, should the lawsuit fail, plaintiffs will likely be barred from pursuing an individual claim against the manufacturers of Xarelto.
Xarelto patients who suffered uncontrollable bleeding that may be associated with this blood thinner should consult an attorney to discuss all of their legal options. To learn more, please callfor a free, no-obligation case review.