July 29, 2014 — A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a man who died from uncontrollable bleeding after taking Xarelto (rivaroxaban), a new drug that lacks an antidote to reverse its blood-thinning effects.
The man, Thomas C. Dunkley, used Xarelto between June 17 an July 26, 2012. On that date, he suffered a parenchymal hemorrhage and suffered a life-threatening, irreversible bleeding event in his brain. He died on August 1, 2012.
The lawsuit was filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer HealthCare.
The plaintiff, Ruth E. McGowan, is the daughter of the decedent. She accuses the drug-makers of fraudulently misrepresenting the risks associated with Xarelto, failing to properly test it for side effects, and concealing their knowledge of defects from doctors and patients.
According to the lawsuit (PDF):
“Plaintiff seeks compensatory damages as a result of Decedent’s use of the Xarelto, which has caused Decedent to suffer from life-threatening bleeding, as well as other severe and personal injuries, which are permanent and lasting in nature, physical pain and mental anguish, including diminished enjoyment of life and ultimately death.”
Xarelto belongs to a new class of blood-thinning drugs that work by inhibiting a substance that blood cells need to stick together. Unlike warfarin, which can be de-activated with a dose of Vitamin K, Xarelto lacks a reversal agent.
If a patient on Xarelto starts bleeding, doctors might struggle to help them form blood clots that are necessary to stop bleeding. Many lawsuits accuse drug-makers of downplaying this risk information, putting public safety at risk.
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