U.S. District Court Judge Eldon Fallon announced in a pretrial order that was issued on March 22, 2016, that “As the MDL is entering into a new phase of the litigation, the Court finds it appropriate to terminate the Joint Complaint filing procedure.” He went on to indicate that the last day plaintiffs will be able to file a joint complaint will be May 19th, 2015. As of May 20th, 2016, only individual complaints can be filed.
Thousands Of Complaints
At this time, there are more than 5,000 complaints filed against the manufacturers of Xarelto, Bayer AG, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Many of these are joint complaints which means that there are more plaintiffs than the number of lawsuits filed – quite a few more. For example, one complaint filed in the MDL on the same day as the pretrial order consists of 10 different plaintiffs, each one from different states. Despite their different locations, the plaintiffs were able to file together because they are all alleging the same thing – that after they were prescribed the blood thinner the drug caused them serious harm.
They also allege that the manufacturers failed to truly warn of the risks associated with taking the drug, specifically the fact that the drug didn’t, and still doesn’t, have an FDA-approved antidote. This means that if a patient on Xarelto begins to bleed, either internally or externally, there is a chance that they may bleed out. If this occurs when a patient is on an older blood thinner like Warfarin, physicians are able to give them Vitamin K which increases their blood’s ability to clot and reverses the blood thinners effects. With patients on Xarelto, doctors are forced to perform a blood transfusion and even this procedure isn’t a guarantee for survival. In fact, over 500 of the lawsuits filed in MDL 2592 are wrongful death lawsuits.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by the loved ones of someone who has passed due to the negligence of another party. In order to have a legitimate claim, the following elements need to exist:
- A death must have occurred.
- The death needs to have been caused by someone else’s negligence.
- Surviving dependents need to have suffered financial losses because of the death.
By pursuing legal action, the plaintiffs may be able to recover compensation that will assist them with their financial losses including medical expenses from treatments the deceased received for the condition that caused their death, lost benefits, and lost wages.
However, the majority of complaints are personal injury lawsuits in which the plaintiff is the person who suffered.
Are Their Other Reported Side Effects?
Yes. Plaintiffs have also claimed that the drug has caused GI bleeding, brain hemorrhages, stroke, spinal bleeds, rectal bleeding, and liver dysfunction. As a result, each patient has required additional medical treatments, hospitalizations, and medications. Often this resulted in thousands of dollars in medical expenses and physical pain and suffering.
Has The FDA Recalled Xarelto?
No. At this time, there has not been a recall issued for the drug. However, the FDA has issued multiple black box warnings for the drug. A black box warning is the most serious comment the administration can make about a product – the next step is a recall.
The first black box warning indicates that there is evidence which suggests that Xarelto can cause serious harm to a patient who is undergoing a procedure involving the spine. The FDA has recommended that if possible, any spinal procedures be performed after the patient has been taken off of the blood thinner. The second black box warning informed patients and the medical community that if a patient discontinued the drug too quickly, they were at risk for the development of blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, and spinal hematoma.