The Plaintiff at the center of the first federal Xarelto trial is seeking a do-over, claiming that evidence important to his case was improperly excluded at trial. In a Motion filed with the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana on Tuesday, Joseph Boudreaux asserts that he should have been allowed to address the viability of a test to identify Xarelto patients at risk for internal bleeding.
Boudreaux, 74, suffered a serious gastrointestinal bleed less than one month after he was prescribed Xarelto to prevent stroke. He alleged that the drug’s manufacturers failed to warn his prescribing physician that blood-thinning medication could cause uncontrollable hemorrhaging. However, the jury hearing the case returned a defense verdict.
According to HarrisMartin.com, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson had moved prior trial to exclude evidence of foreign labeling and regulatory actions. During the trial, defense experts and corporate witnesses testified that a screening test called Neoplastin PT was useless and was not effective at identifying patients at risk for bleeding. Boudreaux’s June 12th motion argued that he should have been able to question one of those experts about her failure to consider a peer-reviewed publication that found the test to be a reliable screening method.
“This Court precluded this evidence because it happened to involve foreign medical associations, reasoning that the jury might be confused by evidence involving foreign regulatory standards. This ruling was error because it was based on a false premise, since no foreign regulatory standards were addressed in the peer-reviewed publication,” the Motion argued. “The publication instead addressed science-based global testing recommendations from independent medical associations.”
Xarelto was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2011 and has since become a top-seller for both Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. However, plaintiffs pursuing Xarelto lawsuits claim that the companies’ success was the result of misleading marketing that wrongly positioned the medication as a superior alternative to warfarin. Among other things, they point out that internal bleeding associated with warfarin can be stopped via the administration of vitamin K. However, there is currently no approved antidote to reverse Xarelto bleeding side effects.
More than 17,000 claims are currently pending in the federal Xarelto litigation underway in the Eastern District of Louisiana. All of the cases were filed on behalf of individuals who allegedly experienced internal bleeding and related complications as result of the blood thinner. The proceeding began convening a series of bellwether trials in May, with the first two juries returning verdicts for the defense. Two additional Xarelto trials will get underway later this summer.