Over 9,000 lawsuits are in progress concerning the makers and distributers of Xarelto, a blood thinner that is produced by both Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the latter being a subsidiary of the drug company Johnson & Johnson. Over 7,000 of these Xarelto lawsuits have been filed in Louisiana alone. Another 1,000 cases have been filed in Delaware, and an additional 1,000 filed in a state court in Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs of Xarelto claim the drug caused bleeding to the brain or intestine, which then lead to more severe side effects. These include hospitalization and death. The plaintiffs are accusing the defendants of not warning their patients of the severe dangers of the drug.
The first case goes to trial in Louisiana and involves Joseph Boudreaux, who suffered from severe gastrointestinal bleeding from the use of Xarelto. The second case that will go to trial in the same state involves a woman who died from a brain hemorrhage a month after taking the drug. Her husband, Joseph Orr, will go to trial on her behalf. The next two cases involve Dora Mingo, a Mississippi defendant who says she suffered from bleeding of the intestine after she used Xarelto to treat her blood clots, and William Henry in Texas, who died from gastrointestinal bleeding. These four cases, known as “bellwether” cases, will be used to see if a settlement can be fairly reached. If the defendants of the case are found completely not guilty, or no settlement is able to be reached, the remaining cases will normally be sent back to the home districts they started at.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has stated that Xarelto was responsible for the most reported cases of serious, domestic injuries among all regularly monitored prescription drugs. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 10,674 reports were filed against the drug, which included 1,121 deaths as well as 4,508 injuries that required hospitalization. Bleeding in the intestines and on the brain were the two most frequent reports to the FDA.
Napoli Sckolnik of New York was the attorney who first filed a lawsuit against the makers of Xarelto, at the headquarters of Janssen in Philadelphia. The firm then decided to switch to Delaware, because the company has a “significant involvement” in that area. Sckolnik is not involved with the cases in Louisiana and has no plans to be, as they wish to have control over their own cases.