October 12, 2015 — A federal judge in Louisiana has set the first four trial dates involving Xarelto for early 2017.
U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana oversees a consolidated litigation against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer AG.
He issued a Case Management Order (PDF) setting the first trial for February 6, 2017 in Louisiana. A second trial will also be held in Louisiana on March 13. Two more trials have been scheduled, one in Mississippi on April 24, and another in Texas on May 30.
Attorneys have until January 11, 2016 to choose a pool of 40 cases that will undergo discovery in preparation for trials.
Judge Fallon oversees a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) that included approximately 1,700 lawsuits as of mid-September. An important part of the process is the selection of so-called “bellwether” trials. The outcome of each trial helps lawyers resolve other cases with similar allegations.
All of the lawsuits involve severe internal bleeding side effects of Xarelto. Unlike traditional blood-thinning medications, Xarelto works by inhibiting a chemical in the blood called thrombin that is necessary for blood cells to stick together and form a clot. Because Xarelto changes blood-chemistry, it has no quick reversal agent.
This means that in the event of a bleeding emergency, there is no way to reverse its blood-thinning effects. Many patients on Xarelto have experienced uncontrollable internal bleeding. They accuse drug-makers of downplaying the risk of bleeding and aggressively marketing Xarelto.
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