August 21, 2014 — Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer have been hit with a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the sons of a man who died from severe bleeding after taking Xarelto (rivaroxaban), a popular new blood-thinning medication.
The 92 year-old man, Charles Griggs, is from Tennessee. He used Xarelto between May and August 2013. He suffered a life-threatening bleeding on August 25, 2013, which caused him to suffer severe and permanent injuries, pain, suffering, and emotional distress. He died on December 6, 2013.
The lawsuit (PDF) was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on August 14.
Janssen is accused of failing to adequately test Xarelto or warn about its side effects, which amounts to “callous, reckless, willful, depraved indifference to health, safety, and welfare of the Plaintiff-decedent herein.”
This is not the first Xarelto lawsuit filed in federal court in New York. On July 29, 2014, a 71 year-old woman from Texas filed a lawsuit in the same district court. She developed severe bleeding after taking Xarelto for less than four months.
Last year, the FDA issued a Warning Letter (PDF) because some Xarelto ads minimized risk information and made misleading claims about the need for dosage adjustments.
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) belongs to a new class of blood-thinning medications that work by inhibiting factor Xa, an enzyme that blood platelets need to stick together. When a patient is on Xarelto, their blood is unable to form blood clots.
Although Xarelto reduces a patient’s risk of having a stroke, it increases their risk of bleeding. If a patient starts bleeding due to an injury or needs emergency surgery, it may be difficult for a doctor to de-activate Xarelto and reverse its anti-clotting effects. Xarelto has no reversal agent and cannot be removed from a patient’s bloodstream with dialysis.
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