As they do every year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released a year-end report providing new safety information on certain drugs. For the end of 2016, eleven drugs had new information or “potential signal of a serious risk”. One of those drugs is Xarelto.
Xarelto Use May Cause Menorrhagia
The FDA concluded that Xarelto, along with several other blood thinners, has the potential to cause menorrhagia in women taking the drug. This condition causes extreme bleeding during a woman’s menstrual period and can result in other health conditions such as severe anemia and dysmenorrhea, also known as severe cramps. While cramps might not seem like a big deal, the pain from this condition can be so horrible that prescription medication or even surgery may be required.
This new information comes right as the first bellwether trial for the more than 15,000 lawsuits filed regarding Xarelto is set to begin.
Why Have 15,000 Lawsuits Been Filed?
Each of the lawsuits, which are filed against Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals division and Bayer AG the manufacturers of Xarelto, claims that the drug caused serious harm after being given to a patient. Most of the claims are defective drug lawsuits filed by the patient themselves, however, several hundred are wrongful death lawsuits filed by the loved ones of a patient who passed away. Their loved ones believe they would never have died if they haven’t been prescribed the blood thinner.
Plaintiffs have claimed that the drug caused:
- unstoppable bleeding
- a brain hemorrhage
- GI bleeds
- pulmonary embolism
- liver dysfunction
- spinal bleeding
To complicate matters, Xarelto doesn’t have an antidote. This means that if a patient suffers from a side effect, doctors have no way of reverse the effects of the drug and instead must wait for it to naturally work its way out or give the patient a blood transfusion. Even then, there are serious risks. Doctors have found that stopping the drug too quickly can actually cause life-threatening blood clots.
Any one of these side effects can result in the need for long-term care, large medical bills, and lost wages. That’s just a few of the reasons that so many have decided to pursue legal action.
Can New Lawsuits Be Filed?
Absolutely. Just because trials will be starting doesn’t mean that new lawsuits can’t be filed. Anyone who believes that they may have been harmed by Xarelto should contact an attorney as soon as possible to learn more.
Lawsuits Have Been Consolidated
In 2014, Xarelto lawsuits were consolidated into an MDL. This means that all federally-filed lawsuits will be overseen by a judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Since so many complaints have been filed, this will expedite the judicial process and save the plaintiffs time and money.
How Long Will It Take?
The fact that the pending litigation is finally moving forward with bellwether trials is encouraging, however, even lawsuits that resolve quickly can take months and many require years. Don’t let that stop you from pursuing legal action. Our firm will be there every step of the way to support you during this difficult time.
Settlements vs Going To Trial
Often our clients ask if it’s better to settle or go to trial. The answer is always the same: it depends. Sometimes, the defendant doesn’t offer a settlement. In other cases, the offer simply isn’t good enough.
It’s always important to never accept an offer to sign any paperwork without consulting a lawyer.
If a settlement agreement can’t be reached, the case will go to trial. This is not an experience that should be feared. Our firm prepares each case as though it will ultimately go to trial, making sure that no stone has been left unturned. We collect evidence, interview witnesses, consult with professional experts, and prepare our clients for the courtroom experience.