Pradaxa Lawsuits Moving Forward, As Bellwether Trials Scheduled
Pradaxa lawsuits continue to move forward in the multidistrict litigation now pending in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois. According to the Court’s calendar, the next Status Conference in the Pradaxa litigation is scheduled for November 5, 2012. What’s more, court records indicate that the first Pradaxa lawsuits could head to trial during the summer of 2014.
Pradaxa, which was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2012, was touted as a superior alternative to warfarin. The drug caught on quickly, and Pradaxa sales eclipsed $1 billion last year. However, Pradaxa lawsuits allege that Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the drug’s manufacturer, failed to warn that it lacked an antidote to control the potentially-fatal internal bleeding that is sometimes a side effect of blood thinning drugs. While dialysis can be used to remove Pradaxa from the blood stream, the treatment is risky, and is difficult to administer quickly enough to prevent serious injury or death. Bleeding from warfarin, however, can easily be stopped with the administration of Vitamin K.
In December 2011, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication stating it was reviewing reports of serious Pradaxa bleeding events. Last year, the FDA said it had received 500 reports of deaths and 3,781 adverse events had been reported in connection with Pradaxa. Health officials overseas, including regulators in Australia, Japan and Europe have also issued Pradaxa side effects advisories.
According to a recent report from USA Today, hundreds of people have filed Pradaxa lawsuits and legal experts believe the drug could be the subject of the next big products liability settlement. Anticipating a massive litigation, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all federally-filed Pradaxa lawsuits in a single proceeding in the U.S. District Court, District of Southern of Illinois. Over the summer, U.S. District Judge David Herndon, who is presiding over the federal Pradaxa litigation, told the Madison Record that he intended to “expedite” the litigation.
Now, court records indicate Judge Herndon has been true to his word. He has already appointed attorneys to leadership positions in the litigation, and he has established a schedule for the first Pradaxa bellwether trials. According to a Case Management Order issued on October 3rd, the first trial will begin on August 11, 2014. Three more trials will begin on September 25, 2014, January 5, 2015 and February 16, 2015.
The Pradaxa litigation’s next conference will begin at 1:30 p.m. on November 5, 2012 at the East St. Louis Courthouse.