A federal panel this week ruled that a growing number of claims over the blood thinner Xarelto will be sent to one central federal court for faster handling.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which consists of seven judges from around the country, decides whether lawsuits filed in different states have similar issues that could best be handled by one court. This prevents repetitious evidence gathering and conflicting judicial decisions.
They issued a transfer order on December 12th sending Xarelto lawsuits to U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
In the case of Xarelto, thousands of people have been hospitalized for severe gastrointestinal bleeding or brain hemorrhaging while using the drug, since there is no FDA-approved antidote for emergencies. Hundreds have already died.
At east 50 people in 15 states had filed separate lawsuits this year against Bayer, who manufactures the drug, and Johnson & Johnson, who sells it in America.
Lawyers for the patients argued that moving them to a central court would preserve valuable court resources, allow victims to share evidence, and let the drug companies defend themselves in one location.
However, Bayer and J&J, perhaps knowing that the media attention of a unified MDL lawsuit would bring more people to file claims, opposed the move.
Judge Fallon is well experienced in such mass tort actions, having presided over the multi-billion dollar Vioxx litigation and nationwide lawsuits over Chinese Drywall.
Xarelto is currently the top-selling non-generic brand of blood thinner, with close to $2 billion in revenue each year. Now, lawyers expect thousands may come forward after having been hospitalized or losing a loved one.
Cases like this for defective drug injuries can be very complex, and DrugNews only recommends a select number of lawyers who have already handled thousands of cases. Contact us today to speak with a Xarelto lawyer at no cost to learn your legal options.
Vance, S. Transfer Order. JPML. (December 12, 2014). Retrieved from http://www.jpml.uscourts.gov/sites/jpml/files/MDL-2592-Initial_Transfer-12-14.pdf
Feeley, J. Bayer, J&J Fight Calls to Unify Blood-Thinner Death Suits. Bloomberg. (December 4, 2014). Retrieved from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-04/bayer-j-j-face-calls-to-consolidate-xarelto-blood-thinner-suits.html
Last summer, the Department of Justice unveiled the details of an ongoing lawsuit and resulting settlement against industrial giant 3M, claiming the company had furnished defective combat earplugs to millions of U.S. troops serving around the world.