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Xarelto Lawsuits can Go One Way or the Other

Xarelto lawsuit plaintiffs have recently submitted a motion to the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to consolidate the cases in multidistrict litigation (MDL). Defendants Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. (a division of Johnson & Johnson) have made a similar motion. The thing is, the motions are for different districts.

Plaintiffs are requesting that the JPML approve the move of 50 cases filed in 15 different districts to the one under Judge David Hendron in Illinois. Bayer and Janssen on the other hand wants it moved to New Jersey where both companies are headquartered in the US under Judge Freda Wolfson, who is already handling two of the cases. Both sides apparently agree that consolidation is the practical next move as the cases are practically identical in claim and scope. The question is, where?

The cases against Bayer and Janssen stem primarily from the fact that Xarelto (rivaroxaban) is an anticoagulant that works way too well in some cases. All Xarelto lawsuits claim that the drug led to uncontrollable bleeding with serious, even fatal results. All anticoagulants have that risk, but in the case of Xarelto, there is no counteracting agent, unlike the standard anticoagulant drug warfarin, the effects of which can be reversed with a dose of Vitamin K.

Plaintiffs basically say that Xarelto is too dangerous to be used at all and that Bayer and Janssen knew or should have known this and pulled it out of the market. However, Xarelto continues to be prescribed and bought today despite the highly publicized health risk.

The motions were presented before the US. District Court in South Carolina in Charleston in December 4, 2014, and are presently under JPML consideration.