The nationwide litigation involving a popular blood thinner continues to grow, as several plaintiffs recently filed suit in in Illinois state court over internal bleeding complications allegedly caused by Xarelto.
Their Xarelto lawsuit, which is now pending in Madison County Circuit Court (case number 17-L-1099), claims that the medication was defectively designed and not subjected to adequate testing. They further claim that research has shown that Xarelto increases the likelihood of serious bleeding complications, including gastrointestinal hemorrhage and bleeding that requires transfusion. Finally, the lawsuit accuses the drug’s manufacturers of failing to provide doctors and patients with adequate warning of its risks.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xarelto for sale in October 2011, and it has since become a top-seller for both Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. The medication is one of a number of novel anticoagulants introduced in recent years that have been touted as superior to warfarin, a decades-old blood thinner sold under the brand-name Coumadin.
Johnson & Johnson reported last month that it had been named a defendant in at least 20,000 Xarelto lawsuits. Plaintiffs involved in this litigation claim that sales of Xarelto were driven by 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.
The majority of U.S. Xarelto lawsuits have been centralized in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, where more than 18,000 cases are pending. In the past few months, that litigation has convened three bellwether trials, all of which concluded with defense verdicts. A fourth case will go to trial this fall in Texas federal court.
Xarelto lawsuits have also been consolidated in state courts in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Delaware, and California. Xarelto class action lawsuits have also been filed in Canada.