Jurors Decide that Doctors were Adequately Warned
The plaintiff, Joseph Boudreaux, claims that a Xarelto prescription led to internal bleeding, cardiovascular ailments and a week-long stay in the Intensive Care Unit. While such risks are common to most anticoagulant drugs, Boudreaux argued that Xarelto’s lack of an effective reversal agent rendered the med unreasonably dangerous. Now in his 70s, Boudreaux works as a part-time security guard, Bloomberg reports.
“Simple” Blood Test Could Prevent Bleeds, Attorneys Say
In a statement, the man’s attorneys expressed “disappointment” with the verdict, but noted that the first Xarelto bellwether trial will serve as a learning experience. The legal team intends “to press forward with the […] claims of thousands of innocent victims whose lives have been shattered by Xarelto.” Lawyers maintain that Johnson & Johnson and Bayer failed to adequately warn the medical community and public of the prescription’s risks.
Moreover, they say the companies should have been more aggressive in marketing a “simple test” that can be used to predict high-risk patients. “[Bayer and Johnson & Johnson] only accept science they like,” plaintiffs’ attorney Brian Barr said in his closing argument, “and decide to ignore science they don’t like. They know if they require [a] blood test, they’re terrified that doctors will just use another drug.” Xarelto’s main competitor, the decades-old blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin), comes with an effective antidote.
Three More Trials On Horizon
Joseph Boudreaux was the first patient to file a Xarelto lawsuit in the United States. His claim is now joined by around 18,000 other lawsuits, many of which have been consolidated in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The next bellwether trial, slated to be held in the Louisiana court, is expected to begin on May 30, 2017. A third trial, scheduled in the US District Court of Mississippi, will begin at some point in June, with a fourth kicking off in Texas the following month. Both Mississippi and Texas have adopted the “learned intermediary” doctrine as a valid defense argument.