The U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Louisiana has started the process of selecting 40 cases for the bellwether trial pool.
As required by an order dated December 17, 2015, the parties in the Xarelto multidistrict litigation (MDL) have selected 10 cases for the pool by the January 11, 2016 deadline:
- Five originating in the Eastern District of Louisiana
- One from Mississippi
- One from Texas
- Three from other states.
An additional 20 lawsuits were scheduled to be selected by January 15, 10 from Louisiana, two from Mississippi, and one case from eight other states. The first two Xarelto bellwether trials are scheduled to begin in February 2017 in the Eastern District of Louisiana on February 6 and March 13. The third and fourth trials are set for Mississippi and Texas on April 24 and May 30, respectively.
Approximately 2,400 cases against Xarelto makers Bay and Janssen Pharmaceutical Division are pending in MDL 2592, centralized in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
What is Xarelto?
Xarelto is a new generation anticoagulant developed by Bayer Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary in 2011 as a superior alternative to warfarin (Coumadin), the blood thinner used widely since the 1950s for the prevention of strokes in those suffering from atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat). These patients are at increased risk of formed a blood clot in the heart, which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
Xarelto works by thinning the blood, lowering the chance of clots forming. Although all blood thinners increase the risk of bleeding problems, Xarelto has been linked to an increased number of uncontrollable blood injuries because there is no approved antidote available for patients who use Xarelto, and many of the side effects have been severe because the bleeding cannot be effectively controlled.