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Bellwether Trials Scheduled for Xarelto Coordinated Litigation

Xarelto boxFour bellwether trials have been scheduled in the ongoing coordinated proceedings underway involving the blood-thinning medication Xarelto. The judge overseeing the coordination has put four trials on the calendar in the first half of 2017, which will provide valuable insight into how subsequent Xarelto lawsuits may be resolved.

All of the cases included in the coordination include allegations of serious bleeding injuries related to Xarelto.

Coordination of Xarelto lawsuits

Xarelto multidistrict litigation has been in progress since December 2014. The MDL was established to streamline the early trial proceedings for a growing number of similar lawsuits involving Xarelto. Currently, there are nearly 1,700 cases regarding uncontrollable bleeding in Xarelto users. Some of those bleeding events have been fatal.

The judge overseeing the Xarelto MDL, U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon, issued a case management order on September 15, listing the dates of the early trials. The first bellwether trial is scheduled to begin on February 6, 2017, followed by a second trial on March 13, 2017. A third trial, slated for April 24, will be held in Mississippi, while the fourth, beginning on May 30, will take place in Texas. U.S. District Courts for the last two bellwether trials have yet to be determined. Locations are also subject to change, based on the discretion of the court, the case management order states.

The cases that will go before these juries will be selected from a pool of 40 cases. The selection process has also been outlined in the recent order, with specific dates set to complete various stages of the process. The first 40 cases will be determined by January 11, 2016, with the plaintiff choosing 10, the defendant choosing 10 and the remaining 20 selected randomly. The final selection of bellwether trials is slated to be completed by August 1, 2016.

History of Xarelto side effects

Xarelto was introduced to the U.S. market in 2011, and was highly touted by its manufacturer Bayer as a safe and effective alternative to the older blood-thinning medication warfarin. Unlike warfarin, Xarelto and its predecessor Pradaxa did not require regular blood monitoring or dietary restrictions. The drugs were approved to treat patients with certain types of atrial fibrillation to reduce their risk of blood clots and stroke.

However, another difference was discovered once the drugs were on the market that raised significant concern. Unlike warfarin, Xarelto and Pradaxa had no antidote in the event of an unexpected bleeding event. This led to uncontrollable bleeding that required emergency medical treatment and resulted in the death of some patients.

In 2012, the Huffington Post reported on a growing number of adverse events involving Pradaxa that were concerning members of the medical community. Concerns about Xarelto soon followed, as the drug that was introduced a year after Pradaxa began to show similar risks. Patients injured by the drugs began filing lawsuits against the manufacturers, claiming companies failed to properly warn patients and the medical community about the dangers associated with their products.

  1. United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, MDL Statistics Report,
  2. U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, MDL – 2592 Xarelto Products Liability Litigation,
  3. FDA, Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Tablets,
  4. Huffington Post, Pradaxa and Xarelto: Top Heart Doctors Concerned over New Blood Thinners,
  5. U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, Case Management Order No. 2,