On November 6th, 2017, the first of the Philadelphia mass tort cases will go to trial and plaintiffs are hopeful for a good outcome.
Thousands Of Cases Waiting In Philadelphia
Since February of 2014 when the first Xarelto case was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, around 1500 lawsuits have been filed and ultimately joined in a mass tort.
A mass tort is a form of civil action that can be created when many plaintiffs, who are making similar allegations regarding one product, file a lawsuit against the same defendant. These cases can go to either state or federal court and the hope is that by combining these complaints, the litigation can move forward quickly and in a cost-effective manner for all parties involved.
The plaintiffs involved in the Xarelto mass tort are alleging that the blood thinner, which is produced by Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson, caused them bodily harm and that the manufacturers both knew of the serious risks and did nothing to warn patients or the medical community.
Xarelto Side Effects: What Are They?
The side effects that plaintiffs are claiming either caused them personal harm or killed a loved one include:
When a patient is on a blood thinner of any kind, they must be aware that if they sustain any sort of injury, their blood won’t clot as it should and they will be at risk due to blood loss. When a doctor is treating a patient that is taking an older blood thinner like Warfarin, they have the option of administering Vitamin K which is an antidote and will encourage clotting. What many doctors and their patients didn’t realize is that Xarelto has no antidote so when bleeding begins, the physicians only option is to begin a blood transfusion and sometimes, even this treatment comes too late.
If a discontinued prematurely, patients on Xarelto are at serious risk of developing blood clots. If a blood clot forms and travels to the lungs, it can become stuck in a vein or artery and cause enough damage that blood flow is stopped. Once blood flow stops, part of the lung can die which of course, is life-threatening.
If the patient bumps their head and the brain begins to bleed, the brain becomes deprived of oxygen which can result in a stroke and tissue death.
According to the Journal of American Medical Association, Xarelto can cause hepatitis or other liver dysfunction. The FDA confirmed this when they issued a warning regarding liver dysfunction in December of 2014.
It is because of these side effects that the plaintiffs have chosen to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit which they hope will provide them with monetary compensation for the physical and emotional losses that they have sustained.
What Are Bellwether Trials?
You may have heard the phrase Bellwether Trial being used. This phrase is applied to the first of a group of lawsuits to go to court and basically means that these trials will be used as a sort of indicator regarding how future trials may go. If the court sides with the plaintiffs during the first few cases, then the defendant may begin to make settlement offers or, if the outcome is for the defendants, they may choose to continue taking the matter before a judge and jury.
The cases that are set to begin are the first bellwether trails for the Philadelphia mass tort which will take place in a state court, however, several plaintiffs involved in the nearly 20,000 cases filed in MDL 2592 have already taken their case to the federal court.
What Can Be Gained From Filing A Complaint?
If the court sides with the plaintiff, they may be able to obtain monetary compensation which will help them pay for their:
- medical treatments
- lost wages
- physical pain and suffering
- emotional trauma.
If the complaint is a wrongful death lawsuit, additional damages may be recovered including:
- funeral and burial expenses
- loss of consortium
- loss of inheritance
- loss of benefits
- loss of income
The amounts that each plaintiff are able to obtain will vary from case to case.