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Xarelto Injury Lawsuit Alleges Wrongful death

xarelto pill bottle

The controversial blood thinning drug Xarelto has been named in yet another lawsuit – this time, tragically, following the death of an elderly Missouri resident who was prescribed the medication by his treating physician in December, 2012.

Xarelto has been targeted with increasing scrutiny over the past several years, and its manufacturers are alleged to have unlawfully concealed the truth about its tendency to cause life-threatening hemorrhages and internal bleeding. Consequently, multidistrict litigation was formed to help consolidate the growing number of cases against the makers of Xarelto: Johnson & Johnson, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

In this recent case, the surviving widow of one of Xarelto’s latest alleged victims is seeking compensation for the medical expenses related to her spouse’s treatment, as well as non-economic damages to address her pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.

Details of latest Xarelto injury lawsuit

On May 22, 2015, a plaintiff – filing on behalf of her deceased spouse – commenced her Xarelto injury lawsuit in United States District court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, home of the ongoing MDL to address the alleged widespread injuries caused by the anti-coagulant.

According to the complaint, the decedent was prescribed Xarelto on or about December, 2012, and subsequently presented to the emergency department on May 8, 2013 with a pronounced cerebral hemorrhage. He was immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, and was thereafter transferred to a skilled nursing facility while recovering from the sudden onset of brain bleeding. Despite medical interventions, the decedent passed away on May 22, 2013 – allegedly from complications suffered as a result of exposure to the drug.

Allegations of aggressive marketing & consumer deceit

At the heart of the plaintiffs’ lawsuit are the allegations against the makers of Xarelto involving deceitful marketing practices and the outright failure to disclose known bleeding risks and side effects. The drug Xarelto was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011 for the treatment of deep-vein thrombosis and similar clotting risks following knee or hip surgery. Its arrival to the market was initially well-received, as the drug was considered a more-convenient alternative to the long-standing anti-coagulant known as warfarin, which had been on the market for decades.

Unlike warfarin, however, Xarelto’s “aggressive” marketing campaigns promised patients they could maintain an active lifestyle without diet restrictions or regular trips to the blood clinic. What these advertisements failed to mention, according to the plaintiff, was that Xarelto could cause a sharp increase in bleeding risks, and had been named in several studies as a dangerous anti-coagulant alternative that should be used only under close supervision.

In her complaint, the plaintiff points to a series of adverse reports published in the October, 2012 issue of Safe Medicine Practices, Quarter Watch Report. In this publication, it was revealed that the single most common side effect of Xarelto was actually the development of pulmonary embolism – or, the precise medical condition the drug was designed to prevent. In other clinical reviews, the FDA urged the manufacturers to conduct additional testing to ensure patient safety – which was never completed.  Moreover, the manufacturers were warned by the FDA that their “one-size-fits-all” marketing campaigns were dangerously misleading for patients, particularly with regard to the assertion that Xarelto does not carry specific dosage requirements.

The Xarelto MDL is still in relative legal infancy, however more claimants are being added each month – all while drug makers continue to earn record profits on the so-called ‘blockbuster’ medication. In fact, sales of Xarelto rose a staggering 41 percent in Q1 2015, resulting in $540 million in revenue for the drug giants.