January 20, 2017 — The family of a woman who died of uncontrollable bleeding after taking Xarelto has joined a litigation involving around 15,000 lawsuits.
The lawsuit was filed by the children of Florence Bourgeois, a woman from Louisiana who started using Xarelto in September 2013 for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
She continued using Xarelto until January 2016, when she died after experiencing life-threatening urinary bleeding, anemia (low red blood cell count), urinary tract infection, sepsis, and kidney failure.
Her lawyers accuse drug-makers of “callous, reckless, willful, depraved indifference to health, safety and welfare.” It is one of the only lawsuits involving urinary bleeding. Most of the other claims involve gastrointestinal bleeding or cerebral hemorrhage.
The lawsuit (PDF) was filed on January 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana — Case No. 2:14-md-02592. It will be consolidated in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2592) where at least 14,935 other cases are currently centralized.
Janssen Pharmaceuticals told Law360 that 4 million people have used Xarelto since it was approved in 2011, and the risk-benefit profile remains “favorable and consistent with clinical trials.”
Janssen and Bayer are accused of failing to warn about the risk of uncontrollable bleeding. All blood-thinning drugs can cause bleeding, but unlike older drugs, Xarelto lacks an antidote in an emergency.
The first trial is set to begin on March 13, 2017. The plaintiff, Joseph Bourdreux, started taking Xarelto for atrial fibrillation in January 2014 and was hospitalized with intestinal bleeding less than a month later. The next two trials are set for April 24 and May 30, 2017. The second trial will involve a plaintiff who experienced a cerebral hemorrhage.
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