Lawsuits have been filed against Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of the prescription medication Xarelto. The lawsuits claim that Bayer and Janssen failed to adequately warn consumers about the risks associated with the Xarelto, a blood thinning medication. According to its most recent annual report, Johnson & Johnson faces roughly 22,900 Zarelto-related liability cases while Bayer faces roughly 22,000.
Cases filed in federal courts in the United States have been organized as a multi-district litigation for the Eastern District of Louisiana. In addition to federal courts, cases have been filed in numerous state courts across the country, many of which have been consolidated into a state mass tort litigation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Outside of Pennsylvania, there are coordinated proceedings in Delaware, California and Missouri.
Xarelto Mass Tort Litigation
In December of 2017, a jury in the first of four bellwether cases to be tried in Philadelphia awarded an Indiana couple, $26 million in punitive damages and $1.8 million in compensatory damages. The plaintiff, Lynn Hartman, suffered serious gastrointestinal bleeding while using the medication. The jury would find that the pharmaceutical companies failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the risk of bleeding associated with the drug.
Xarelto Multi-District Litigation
In August of 2015, two third-party payers filed a purported class action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson alleging that the defendants improperly marketed the drug as being safer and more effective than less expensive alternatives. Defendants also argue that the defendants failed to fully disclose associated risks.
Later in November of 2015, Ashley Fluitt filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Janssen Pharmaceuticals after her grandmother, Hattie Deville-Goodwin died after taking Xarelto. According to the lawsuit filed, Deville-Goodwin allegedly suffered “uncontrolled internal bleeding, brain hemorrhage and untimely death.” There have been three bellwether cases in the Louisiana MDL that resulted in verdicts for the defense.
Eldon Fallon, a U.S. District Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, ordered 1,200 additional cases to be prepared for trials in courts around the country.
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