In about a month, the first Xarelto lawsuits will go to trial – but that doesn’t mean that new complaints aren’t being filed. In fact, another wrongful death claim has recently joined the more than 15,000 lawsuits filed against manufacturers Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Inc.
Children Left Without A Mother
This latest claim has been filed by three adult children in Louisiana under case number 2:14-md-02592-EEF-MBN. They claim that the manufacturers failed to do their duty when they tested the drug for safety and again failed to take patient safety into consideration when they marketed the drug before an antidote was found. They further allege that their mother, who was prescribed Xarelto to prevent blood clots from forming, suffered from anemia, internal bleeding, sepsis, and renal failure because of the drug and its harmful side effects.
These side effects are just a few of those alleged by plaintiffs. Others include:
- GI bleeding
- pulmonary embolisms
- spinal hematoma
- rectal bleeds
- liver dysfunction
- brain bleeding
It is these side effects that have lead to the numerous complaints against the manufacturers, made by plaintiffs who are hoping to obtain compensation for their losses. Due to the high number of claim filed, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation decided to consolidate federally-filed lawsuits into MDL 2592.
What Is An MDL?
An MDL is a way for plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits with similar questions of fact to save time and money by moving the cases to one court under one judge. The cases involved in MDL 2592 have been moved to a court in the Eastern District of Louisiana to be overseen by the honorable Judge Eldon E. Fallon.
There is another group of Xarelto lawsuits that have been filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia to be reviewed by Judge Arnold New. Nearly 1,100 of the 15,000 will go to trial before Judge New.
Hundreds Of Death Claims
Just like this latest wrongful death complaint, hundreds of others have filed on behalf of their loved ones who have passed, each case alleging that death would not have occurred if the patient had not been taking Xarelto.
In every case, the lawsuit states that the blood thinner is especially dangerous because the FDA has yet to approve an antidote. This means that if a patient who was taking Xarelto begins to bleed, either internally or externally, doctors have no way of reversing the drug’s effect on the blood and clotting is unlikely. In order to prevent exsanguination, physicians must perform blood transfusions but even this treatment isn’t always successful.
Damages: A Form Of Monetary Compensation
Every plaintiff is seeking two things: a feeling that justice has been served and compensation for their losses. If the trials go in their favor, the court will award compensation that is referred to as damages.
Damages cannot replace a life but can provide monetary compensation for:
- physical pain and suffering
- emotional trauma
- medical bills
- lost earnings
- funeral and burial expenses
- loss of companionship
- lost inheritance
The amount awarded in each case will depend upon the losses that the plaintiffs sustained. It is also possible, depending on the outcome of the bellwether trials, that Johnson & Johnson and Bayer Inc. may approach the thousands of plaintiffs with a settlement offer.
The Pros and Cons of A Settlement
When a plaintiff accepts a settlement agreement, their case will be resolved out of court. In most cases, the agreement means that the plaintiff will be given a one-time payment from the defendant. In return, the defendant typically asks to be allowed to not admit any fault.
If a settlement is reached, it can be beneficial for the plaintiff because:
- The plaintiff is fully aware of how much they will be obtaining in compensation and frequently, their legal team is able to negotiate a larger settlement than is initially offered.
- The claim is resolved quickly because it will not wait for a court date.
- Payment is typically received within a month.
- The details of the settlement are often kept private.
On the flip side, there are some downsides. Settlements mean that:
- The defendant likely will not admit to wrongdoing.
- The amount agreed upon may be substantially less than a jury would have awarded.
If an offer to settle is made, each plaintiff will have to consider their options and discuss the pros and cons with their lawyer and make the decision they think is best for themselves and their loves ones.