The defendants of those Xarelto cases that have been so prominent in the news over the past year fought brutally against consolidation under the principal that combining the cases would lead to a slew of copycat complaints without merit. However, their efforts were to no avail.
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled that because the lawsuits featured similar important questions of fact, consolidation was necessary. Now, several cases against Xarelto have been joined into a multidistrict lawsuit for pretrial proceedings, and it seems that plenty more plaintiffs are stepping up to file their own suits against the corporation.
Xarelto (generically known as rivaroxaban) is a blood thinner that is typically used to prevent strokes. Filers allege that the drug can prevent the blood from clotting properly at all and that this results in uncontrolled bleeding that can have deadly effects. Further allegations state that despite being marketed as both effective and safe, Xarelto actually leads to an increased risk of serious bleeding events, including gastrointestinal bleeding.
Coumadin, an older drug from another class of blood thinners, also carries the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. However, there is an antidote readily available to combat the problem should it occur. Plaintiffs point out that anticoagulants, the new class of blood thinners that Xarelto belongs to, do not have any accepted antidote for the side effect of uncontrolled bleeding.
When the cases were first consolidated, there was a grand total of 21 Xarelto lawsuits pending in 10 districts. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has stated that as of January 15, 2015, 86 lawsuits were pending in MDL 2592 before US District Judge Eldon E. Fallon. However, as more and more suits are filed, that figure is expected to sharply increase.