More than 500 Xarelto lawsuits have been consolidated and are currently pending in federal district court in the Eastern District of Louisiana, and District Court Judge Fallon recently announced that the first bellwether trial is scheduled for August 1, 2016.
Xarelto Bellwether Trials
The Xarelto cases were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in December 2014, in an effort to combine resources to gather the facts and present them to a handful of juries in what are known as bellwether trials. Bellwether trials help to determine how juries may react to the evidence presented and can set the stage for future negotiations, potential settlements, and a quicker resolution of the litigation.
Besides the Xarelto trial set for August 1, 2016, the court also scheduled three more bellwether trials for August 22, September 12, and October 17, 2016. The first two trials will take place in the Eastern District of Louisiana, the third will be held in the Southern District of Texas, and the fourth is scheduled for the Southern District of Mississippi.
What is Xarelto?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xarelto in 2011 to reduce the risk of blood clots in patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery. The approval was later expanded to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Xarelto works by blocking certain clotting proteins present in the blood.
Doctors and patients have been waiting for years for an anticoagulant to replace warfarin, the blood thinner used for decades but required stringent dietary restrictions and constant monitoring. When Xarelto and other new age anticoagulants became available, they were in high demand because their manufacturers claimed that frequent monitoring was not required.
But within a year of the drug’s approval, Xarelto was linked to a number of adverse medical events, including:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Blood clots
- Pulmonary embolism
- Uncontrolled bleeding events
One of the main disadvantages of Xarelto as compared to warfarin relates to its lack of an antidote to effectively counteract excessive bleeding events, unlike warfarin, which can be easily reversed with vitamin K.