The federal judge overseeing thousands of Xarelto lawsuits has pushed back the start of the litigation’s first bellwether trial. According to a Case Management Order issued in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, the first Xarelto trial will now get underway on April 24, 2017, in New Orleans.
More than 14,000 Xarelto claims are now pending in the multidistrict litigation underway in Louisiana, all of which were filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly suffered life-threatening internal bleeding events while using the anticoagulant medication. It is expected that the upcoming bellwether trials will provide some insight into how juries will rule in similar Xarleto cases.
The federal Xarelto litigation is scheduled to convene four bellwether trials in the coming months. The first trial will involve a lawsuit filed on behalf of Joseph Boudreaux , who was prescribed Xarelto to reduce the risk of stroke associated with atrial fibrillation. He suffered a serious gastrointestinal bleed that required transfusions less than a month after he began treatment.
The second Xarelto bellwether trial is now scheduled to be convened on May 30, 2017, also in New Orleans. That case was filed on behalf of Sharyn Orr, who died from a hemorrhagic stroke a little more than a month after she began taking Xarelto for atrial fibrillation.
A third trial is scheduled to begin in June in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Mississippi, while the fourth Xarelto lawsuit will go to trial in July in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas. Dates for those trials, which will involve injuries related to gastrointestinal bleeding, are yet to be determined.
Xarelto was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in October 2011. Marketing for the drug has positioned it as an improvement over warfarin, a blood thinner that was seen as the standard anticoagulant for decades. However, plaintiffs claim that this marketing was misleading, as internal bleeding associated with warfarin can be stopped via the administration of vitamin K. There is currently no approved antidote to reverse internal bleeding that sometimes occurs with Xarelto use.