In February 2013, the United States Judicial Panel (“Panel”) ruled to consolidate all federal district cases in the District of New Jersey as MDL 2418, In Re Plavix Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, assigned to Judge Freda L.Wolfson, who's also the Judge in the J&J Talc MDL there, who will manage all pre-trial issues in federal court Plavix cases. It is also anticipated that Judge Woflson will coordinate the federal cases with the New Jersey state Plavix cases, which are currently centralized before Jessica Mayer in Middlesex County.
This JPML ruling overturns the Panel’s 2011, ruling wherein it rejected the motion to consolidate due, in part, to the limited number of cases. However, in reconsidering its prior decision, the Panel concluded that there had been a significant change in circumstances. Recent reports suggest that there is estimated to be more than 2,000 state Plavix cases with an expectation that the federal actions will similarly increase.
Plavix, manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis and Bristol-Myers Squibb (collectively, “Defendants”), is a blood thinner prescribed to prevent heart attacks, strokes and blood clotting. However, the users of Plavix have alleged various forms of severe side-effects. Reportedly, these side-effects include: gastrointestinal bleeding, cerebral bleeding, bleeding ulcers, Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP), heart attack, stroke and death. It is also anticipated that Judge Woflson will coordinate the federal cases with the New Jersey state Plavix cases, which are currently centralized before Jessica Mayer in Middlesex County.