A judge in Louisiana has moved the date for the long-awaited Xarelto bellwether trials ahead to March 2017. Initially, the trial date had been for February but due to the NBA All-Star game which is held in New Orleans the trial start date had to be pushed to March.
The bellwether trials will serve to help the attorneys and judges involved in the now massive number of Xarelto Class Action lawsuits to determine how the following cases may go. Over the past few years, claims against Johnson & Johnson, the massive healthcare company, and the makers, have begun to stack up. Now it is estimated that the number of Class Actions against the healthcare juggernaut has grown to around 10,000.
Plaintiffs in these cases are alleging that the company failed to provide patients with an adequate warning as to the severity of side effects that can accompany taking the drug. They are also claiming that the company fraudulently claimed the drug was safer than other drugs that are used for the same conditions through false advertising. It is alleged that the company also did not make consumers aware of the fact that there is not an antidote to treat the most severe and deadly side effect of Xarelto which is internal bleeding. In addition, it is alleged physicians were encouraged to prescribe the medication without proper knowledge of the severity of the risks of life-threatening side effects.
Xarelto is prescribed to those who have an increased risk of blood clots primarily in patients who suffer from atrial fibrillation. The drug acts as a blood thinner to prevent or treat types of blood clots called deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolus. It is an anticoagulant that works by blocking certain proteins in the blood that contribute to clotting.
This issues that have propagated the claims and allegations against Johnson & Johnson primarily have to do with uncontrollable internal bleeding. A growing number of patients who have used this drug have experienced life-threatening side-effects and death from this condition to which there is no known antidote to control the bleeding once it starts. This has led to a massive number of pending litigations against the company.
The first bellwether trial will be held in New Orleans Louisiana and start on March 13. This trial, in particular, will garner national attention, especially from other pending lawsuits as it will set the tone for these lawsuits. More cases are scheduled to go to trial in Mississippi and Texas shortly after the Louisiana trial with more to come across the country. The bellwether trials will not have any binding effect on these forthcoming trials however, they do serve to facilitate future settlements and possibly deter other cases from landing in front of a trial jury.