A jury in Philadelphia has determined that pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson and Bayer AG are responsible for a woman’s injuries that have been tied to the blood-thinning drug Xarelto and must pay nearly $28 million in damages. According to a Bloomberg news report, this is the companies’ first loss in a Xarelto lawsuit. The plaintiff in this case said she took Xarelto, sold by J&J’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, for more than a year before being hospitalized in 2014 with gastrointestinal bleeding, which she said the drug caused.
How Were the Damages Assessed?
The plaintiff said she needed four blood transfusions to counteract Xarelto’s bleed-out effects, which caused her pain and worry. She hasn’t encountered similar problems after she switched to another blood thinner. Jurors ordered J&J and Bayer, which jointly developed the product, to pay $1.8 million in actual damages and $26 million in punitive damages.
To date, the drug companies have won three other cases that came to trial in federal courts in Louisiana and Mississippi. In those cases, juries found that the drug was safe and that the companies had properly warned consumers about the bleeding risks associated with Xarelto. The companies still face more than 20,000 Xarelto lawsuits.
J&J and Bayer officials said they plan to appeal the Philadelphia jury’s decision. A Janssen spokeswoman said the companies have warned of bleeding events and have provided the appropriate information to physicians, which is needed to make proper treatment decisions. Bayer still believes the drug is safe and effective, a spokesman said. Xarelto has been linked to at least 370 deaths, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The number of Xarelto lawsuits has grown by 27 percent this year. Still, Xarelto is Bayer’s top-selling product generating $3.2 billion in sales last year.
What Risks Are Associated With Xarelto?
Xarelto received FDA approval in 2011 and is commonly used for prevention of strokes in patients who have atrial fibrillation. The drug is also commonly used to treat and prevent blood clots including clots that travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism), which could prove to be fatal. Xarelto is manufactured by Bayer, but marketed by Janssen, a subsidiary of J&J. Manufacturers claim Xarelto is safer and more convenient than older blood thinners or anticoagulants such as Warfarin because it does not require monthly monitoring for heightened bleeding risk.
The problem is, once the bleeding occurs, there is no antidote to reverse the process, while the effects of other blood thinners, such as Warfarin, may be reversed with Vitamin K. Xarelto reportedly has several serious side effects including blood clots, gastrointestinal bleeding, spinal bleeding, bleeding in the brain, epidural bleeding and stroke. FDA reports show that blood clots account for nearly half of the adverse events involving Xarelto.
Contact Us Today!
If you or a loved one has suffered serious side effects as a result of taking Xarelto, you may be able to seek compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization and pain and suffering. The law firm of d’Oliveira & Associates is working with experienced Xarelto lawyers who handle these types of cases. There is no legal fee unless you receive a settlement or award. Call toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online, for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.