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A series of Xarelto bellwether trials before U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana may begin as soon as August 2016. The cases are part of a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL), a consolidation of approximately 550 product liability complaints filed in federal court involving bleeding problems with Xarelto. More cases are expected to be filed.

Judge Fallon has proposed that 50 Xarelto plaintiffs be selected for a pool of bellwether cases. Although the outcomes of these trials will not be binding upon other lawsuits, these cases will be tried to help the parties gauge how juries might respond to certain evidence and testimony that will likely be presented throughout the litigation. At the suggestion of the court, the first two trials will take place in the Eastern District of Louisiana, the third in the South District of Texas, and the fourth in the Southern District of Mississippi.

Xarelto Intended to Lower Stroke and Blood Clot Risk

Xarelto was developed to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots associated with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), and to reduce the risk of DVT and PE in patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery.

The medication works by inhibiting the enzyme in the blood that causes it to clot, but with no approved antidote available to quickly reduce the blood thinning effects of Xarelto, serious and even fatal bleeding events have occurred among the medication’s users.

Xarelto Lawsuit Allegations

The Xarelto lawsuits all involve similar allegations that the drug’s makers, Janssen Research and Development and Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, failed to provide adequate warnings about the potential side effects of Xarelto, which include irreversible brain and gastrointestinal bleeding and uncontrollable hemorrhaging.

Like all anticoagulants, the Xarelto label contains warnings about the medication’s potential risk of bleeding events, but the lawsuits allege that the information provided is insufficient and fails to convey the serious and potentially deadly nature of the medication’s side effects.

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