March 26, 2015 — A lawsuit has been filed by the son of a man who died from uncontrollable bleeding after taking Xarelto, a popular new blood-thinner that has no reversal agent.
The lawsuit was filed on March 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. As of March 15, there were 311 lawsuits involving bleeding injuries from Xarelto pending in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2592).
The plaintiff, Danny Julien, filed the lawsuit on behalf of his father, Tommy Julien. The elder Mr. Julien started using Xarelto in November 2012 for atrial fibrillation. As a result, he developed irreversible internal bleeding in March 2013 and died from his injuries.
According to the complaint (PDF):
“Xarelto® is unreasonably dangerous and defective as formulated putting consumers, including Decedent, at an unreasonable risk of suffering needless injuries and death. Defendants … withheld the knowledge of increased risk of irreversible bleeds in users of Xarelto® to prevent any chances of their product’s registrations being delayed or rejected by FDA.”
Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is a blood-thinning medication that is sold by Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceutical unit. Lawsuits accuse the drug-makers for aggressively promoting Xarelto while failing to adequately warn about its bleeding risks.
Unlike older blood-thinning medications like warfarin, there is no way to “de-activate” Xarelto and reverse its blood-thinning effects. In an emergency, this can mean the difference between life and death. Not even dialysis can remove Xarelto because it binds so tightly to proteins in the bloodstream.
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