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Litigation over the blood thinner Pradaxa (dabigitran) is moving forward. Today, the Joint Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, a panel of federal judges that manages coordination of mass cases, entered an order consolidating all current and future federally-filed Pradaxa cases in front of Judge David R. Herndon, chief judge of the Southern District of Illinois.

Given the complexity of this litigation and anticipated resource demands that accompany “mass tort” (multiple plaintiffs injured in a similar fashion by a defective product) cases, the consolidation is intended to allow the litigation to move forward in an efficient, organized and timely manner.

Consolidation in the Southern District of Illinois before Judge Herndon should prove to be fair to all parties involved in the litigation. Judge Herndon is an experienced MDL judge and we believe he will move the litigation forward expeditiously, which is in the best interest of the injured patients, most of whom are elderly.

Pradaxa was approved in late 2010 for the prevention of stroke among patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. Marketed as a therapeutic simplification to Coumadin (a drug that had been on the market for over 60 years), Pradaxa has achieved blockbuster status by generating sales of more than one billion dollars a year. Pradaxa was designed to thin blood and reduce blood clots, which can cause strokes. Yet, in less than two years since its release, Boehringer Ingelheim’s anticoagulant is already the subject of considerable controversy.

Nearly 15,000 serious adverse events identifying Pradaxa as the primary suspect drug have been reported through March 31, 2012. Although the order entered today identifies 21 actions pending in eleven district courts, we expect this number to grow considerably.

The attorneys at TorHoerman Law have been working diligently to move the Pradaxa litigation forward. TorHoerman Law cases were among the first filed cases in the Southern District of Illinois. Last week, Judge Herndon ruled in favor of our plaintiffs by denying motions to dismiss filed by Boeheringer Ingelheim.

We are pleased with the panel’s decision today and look forward to the opportunity to see that justice is done for those injured as a result of taking Pradaxa.

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