On January 22, 2015, another Xarelto lawsuit was filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court. The plaintiff, Sonja Lemoins, claims that after taking Xarelto to help prevent a stroke, she suffered adverse effects. In essence, she states that her blood cannot congeal or clot in a timely manner.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) consolidated all federal Xarelto lawsuits into one court in December 2014. According to a January MDL report, nearly 90 lawsuits are now pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Plaintiff Claims Janssen and Bayer Downplayed Xarelto Risks
In her complaint, Lemoins states that Xarelto manufacturers, Janssen and Bayer, downplayed the risks associated with taking Xarelto when they were advertising it to consumers. They touted the positive results of studies on the drug, which showed its ability to reduce the risk of stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, as well as in patients undergoing knee and hip replacement surgery, but they failed to highlight the increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding and other serious bleeding concerns.
All anticoagulants carry a risk of bleeding, but plaintiffs like Lemoins claim that manufacturers of Xarelto and other so-called “newer generation” drugs failed to warn patients about the more serious risks. Compared to the industry standard, warfarin, Xarelto brings a greater increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, according to studies, yet the manufacturers failed to highlight that point.
In addition, whereas doctors can reverse excessive bleeding with warfarin by employing vitamin K injections, there is no such readily available antidote for Xarelto bleeding, making it more serious and potentially deadly.
Plaintiff Seeks in Excess of $4 Million in Damages
Lemoins includes data in her complaint that claims the defendants spent at least $11 million promoting Xarelto in 2011, while overstating its effectiveness. She adds that after taking Xarelto, she suffered personally, experiencing severe injuries, physical pain, mental anguish, and a decreased enjoyment of life. She brings claims of strict liability, negligent infliction of emotional distress, common law fraud, negligence, and negligent misrepresentation, and seeks $4.35 million in damages, plus costs and fees.
The FDA has been watching Xarelto since it was released in 2011. They required a black box warning in January 2014 stating there was no specific antidote to excessive bleeding. Many plaintiffs complain the warning should have been required years before, however.
Xarelto Linked with Hundreds of Injuries
In this and other similar Xarelto lawsuits, plaintiffs claim that though defendants marketed the drug as being a more convenient option to warfarin, that it is, indeed, no safer than the older drug, and that the manufacturers should have done more to warn patients of the risks.
Whereas warfarin requires regular blood monitoring, Xarelto is marketed as a “one size fits all” medication—a more convenient option for doctors and patients. Plaintiffs claim the defendants failed to make patients aware that in clinical trials, those taking Xarelto had more gastrointestinal bleeds and needed more transfusions than those taking warfarin.
In 2013, the FDA sent defendants a letter stating a print advertisement for Xarelto was misleading and minimized the risks of the drug. In the first quarter of 2012, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices identified 356 reports of serious, disabling, and fatal injuries where Xarelto was the primary suspect drug.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.