The Xarelto mass tort program in Philadelphia experienced the second-highest level of growth during 2017, jumping from 1,214 cases at the start of the year to 1,619 by year’s end, representing a 33 percent growth, according to court statistics. The only other mass tort program that grew more was that involving the antipsychotic Risperdal.
Three Xarelto bellwether trials have already occurred in the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) where another 20,000 lawsuits are currently pending. One case tried in Philadelphia resulted in a $27.8 million verdict for the plaintiff. The award was overturned and is currently on appeal to the Supreme Court.
While Xarelto was the second fastest growth mass tort in the state, its 2017 increase was much smaller than in 2016, when Xarelto lawsuits jumped 121 percent.
Xarelto is manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer. The coagulant is used to prevent strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation, to prevent or treat deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, and to prevent blood clots in patients who have recently undergone hip or knee replacement surgery.
Like all blood thinners, Xarelto carries risks for major bleeding events including gastrointestinal bleeds and brain bleeds. Unlike other blood thinners, like the long-used warfarin, there is not antidote on the market to reverse the blood thinning effects of Xarelto in the event of a bleeding emergency.
The Xarelto lawsuits claim that the drug’s makers defectively designed the product and did not adequately warn doctors or patients about the dangers of using Xarelto.
Source: Legal Intelligencer