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Widow’s Xarelto Lawsuit Will Join MDL 2592 in Louisiana

Xarelto box

A Missouri widow has filed a Xarelto lawsuit on behalf of her deceased husband. Dixie A. Smith claims use of the blood thinning medication caused the untimely death of her husband, Jay Christopher Smith. The lawsuit will be added to the ongoing Xarelto multidistrict litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The decedent was prescribed Xarelto by his physician in December 2012. On May 4, 2013, he was admitted to the ICU with an intracerebral hemorrhage. Consequently, his Xarelto use was discontinued. On May 18, 2013, he was transferred to a different facility, but returned to the hospital four days later, where he allegedly died from complications resulting from his use of Xarelto.

Xarelto — also known as rivaroxaban — is used to prevent blood clots from forming due to atrial fibrillation or after hip or knee replacement surgery. The prescription drug is also used to treat blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism and to prevent the blood clots from forming again.

Xarelto lawsuit

The plaintiff is suing Janssen Research on 14 counts, including:

  • Strict Products Liability — Failure to Warn
  • Negligence
  • Breach of Warranty — Breach of Express Warranty
  • Manufacturing Defect/Negligent Design
  • Fraud
  • Punitive Damages
  • Strict Products Liability — Design Defect
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Negligence — Failure to Warn
  • Negligent Misrepresentation
  • Survival Action
  • Breach of Warranty — Breach of Implied Warranty
  • Violation of Consumer Protection Laws
  • Wrongful Death

Plaintiff accuses Xarelto maker of false marketing

Xarelto was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on July 1, 2011, to reduce the risk of blood clots, DVT and PE following knee and hip replacement surgery. On November 4, 2011, it was approved as an anti-coagulant for the primary use of reducing the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation. The FDA expanded the use of the drug once again on November 2, 2012, for the long-term treatment to prevent recurrence of DVT and PE.

The plaintiff accuses the defendants of falsely marketing Xarelto as a “one size fits all” drug.

“In their fervent marketing of Xarelto, defendants’ misinformed patients and their healthcare providers as to the necessity to routinely monitor any patient requiring a blood thinning agent,” states the claim. “In essence, the defendants have created a new drug, Xarelto that is not better than warfarin from a safety perspective, and at best, is only perhaps slightly easier to use and administer.”

Xarelto MDL

The Xarelto multidistrict litigation was established on December 17, 2014 in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Judge Eldon E. Fallon is overseeing the proceedings. All cases involve similar allegations that Janssen Research — a subsidiary of Bayer Healthcare and Johnson & Johnson — failed to provide adequate warnings to patients and the medical community about potential bleeding risks associated with Xarelto.

Xarelto is the first alternative to warfarin that has been placed on the market in years. However, unlike its predecessor, there is no reversal agent to stop the blood thinning effects of the drug. As of June 15, 552 cases had been joined together under MDL 2592.

  1. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Dixie A. Smith vs. Janssen Research & Development LLC

  2. WebMD, Xarelto

  3. Reuters, MDL Watch: Xarelto, Testosterone Suits Climb in June