The federal multidistrict litigation that currently involves more than 500 Xarelto lawsuits could start sending cases to trial next summer. According to documents filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, the judge overseeing the proceedings is considering a plan to convene four bellwether trials starting in August 2016.

So far, at least 552 Xarelto cases have been filed in the Eastern District of Illinois on behalf of patients who allegedly suffered serious internal bleeding and other complications due to its use. However, many legal experts believe that hundreds of additional cases will be added to the litigation in the coming months. The multidistrict litigation was created last December in order to allow the federal Xarelto docket to undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings, so as to avoid duplicative discovery and inconsistent court rulings, and to preserve the resources of the courts, parties and witnesses.

According to court documents, a bellwether trial program was a major subject of discussion on June 22nd, when the parties assembled for the litigation’s monthly status conference. Such programs are a standard part of most multidistrict litigations, and allow a small number of representative claims to go before juries with the expectation that their outcomes will provide insight into possible jury decisions in similar lawsuits.

During the June 22nd conference, the judge overseeing the federal Xarelto litigation proposed that four bellwether trials be convened in 2016, beginning on August 1st, August 22nd, September 12th, and October 17th. The first two trials would be held in the Eastern District of Louisiana, while the third would take place in the Southern District of Texas, and the fourth in the Southern District of Mississippi. It was also proposed that 50 plaintiffs be selected for a “pool” of bellwether cases, which will go through case-specific discovery in preparation for those trials.

Xarelto and Internal Bleeding

Xarelto (rivaroxoaban) is a new-generation anticoagulant approved by the FDA in 2011 as a replacement for warfarin, a decades-old blood thinner sold under the brand-name Coumadin. Like any blood thinner, Xarelto can cause episodes of uncontrollable bleeding. However, while hemorrhaging associated with warfarin can be stopped via the administration of vitamin D, there is currently no approved antidote to reverse uncontrollable Xarelto bleeding. The Xarelto label also includes a black box warning that provides information about an increased risk of blood clot formation following premature discontinuation of the medication in the absence of adequate alternative anticoagulation.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is representing Xarelto lawsuit plaintiffs in the federal multidistrict litigation. If you or a loved one were harmed by this drug, please call 1-877-779-1414 to learn if you might qualify for filing a claim in this proceeding.

Published July 13, 2015 by