Since the blood thinner Pradaxa burst onto the scene in 2010, experts have debated whether the drug is safer or riskier than stalwart Coumadin, even as thousands of patients have died or been hospitalized due to internal bleeding.
In 2014, faced with more than 4,000 patient lawsuits, Pradaxa maker Boehringer Ingelheim decided to pay $650 million to settle cases rather than face charges in a public court of law. And, by all accounts, the company thought that was the last of the Pradaxa lawsuits.
Thousands of Injuries Since 2014 Settlement
The trouble, however, is that Pradaxa remains on the market, and thousands more patients have died or been hospitalized with internal bleeding since 2014.
Lawyers have begun new litigation against Boehringer over the dangers of Pradaxa, for those affected who weren’t part of the first settlement in 2014.
Pradaxa Maker Attempts to Block New Lawsuits
However, the company is now trying to block new litigation, and last month asked a federal court in Massachusetts to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of a man who died of a brain hemorrhage after taking Pradaxa.
The family of Zhensheng Liu alleges that he began taking Pradaxa in 2011, and died of severe brain bleeding in November 2012 after falling. Liu’s own doctors claimed that Pradaxa led to the cerebral hemorrhage and death.
Due to the date of Liu’s death, he was not able to participate in the first round of Pradaxa cases in an Illinois MDL, or be a part of the settlement. His case was later moved to a Boston federal court under Judge William Young.
Suit Claims Pradaxa Warnings Weren’t Sufficient
As in other Pradaxa lawsuits, Liu’s family claims that Boehringer didn’t adequately explain the extreme risks of the drug to doctors or patients. Namely, that severe bleeding couldn’t be stopped in emergencies, or that Pradaxa carried greater risks for elderly patients.
Boehringer claims that the fatal risks of Pradaxa were clearly disclosed on the label, and is asking Judge Young to dismiss the case before it reaches trial. Liu’s family has presented the testimony of an expert witness claiming the warnings weren’t sufficient.
Lawsuit Could Be First to Reach Jury Trial
If the case proceeds, it could be the first Pradaxa bleeding lawsuit to reach trial before settlement. Thousands of other cases are now pending in Missouri and Connecticut state courts. Lawyers expect a ruling by Judge Young shortly.
Lawyers are still filing lawsuits on behalf of those injured by Pradaxa bleeding, but they caution that the time to take action may be limited. Anyone who has been affected or lost a loved one to internal bleeding is urged to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
For more information about the most recent litigation, or to speak directly with a lawyer at no cost, contact DrugNews today.
Liu et al. v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., case number 14-cv-13234-WGY, (U.S. Dist Ct. Mass)
Amaral, B. Pradaxa Warnings Were Adequate, Boehringer Ingelheim Says. Law360. (October 13, 2016). Retrieved from www.law360.com
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