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M. Brandon Smith
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New MDL Created For Pradaxa Injury Cases

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The number of lawsuits involving Pradaxa internal bleeding claims has increased so dramatically that the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created an MDL to centralize pre-trial issues. The MDL—or “Multidistrict Litigation”—will be centralized in the Southern District of Illinois, with Judge David R. Herndon as the presiding judge.

At the time that the Judicial Panel issued their order creating the MDL and transferring existing cases to the Southern District of Illinois, there were already 21 cases that had been filed in Federal District Courts to which the order applies. Another 19 cases are likely to “tag along” with the transfer. All of these cases allege similar issues with the drug Pradaxa and were filed against different divisions of Boerhringer Ingelheim. Judge Herndon is already overseeing litigation involving Yasmin and Yaz, another large pharmaceutical products liability litigation.

The creation of this MDL means that the cases that have already been transferred to the Southern District of Illinois—and any new cases that might be transferred there in the future—will be consolidated for purposes of pre-trial issues. This means greater efficiency for both the parties, as well as the courts, in carrying out discovery and filing pre-trial motions. Once the cases reach the moment of trial, they will be transferred back to the courts in which they originated, where each plaintiff will have their day in court.

As the Judicial Panel highlighted in its order, the lawsuits all involved common factual issues, focused primarily on allegations that the plaintiffs suffered severe bleeding and other injuries as a result of taking Pradaxa and that the defendant pharmaceutical company did not provide sufficient warnings about the risk of bleeding to physicians. There is no treatment to reverse the anti-coagulant effects of Pradaxa, meaning that the drug has caused life-threatening conditions, permanent disability and even deaths.