Pennsylvania Judge Arnold L. New set 10 cases for bellwether trials next year and outlined discovery deadlines for In Re: Xarelto Products Liability Litigation, where hundreds of plaintiffs charge that the blood-thinning drug caused gastrointestinal bleeding, hemorrhagic strokes or death.
In Case Management Order No. 11 issued October 14, Judge New of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas organized 24 of the cases for a Core Discovery Pool into three categories:
- Plaintiff took Xarelto® in order to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism due to nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and alleges a gastrointestinal or rectal bleed or death due to a gastrointestinal or rectal bleed and was between the ages of 50 and 90 at the date of the alleged event.
- Plaintiff took Xarelto to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT), to treat pulmonary embolism (PE), to reduce the risk of recurrence of DVT or PE, or for the prophylaxis of DVT, which may lead to PE in patients undergoing knee or hip replacement surgery and alleges a gastrointestinal or rectal bleed or death due to a gastrointestinal or rectal bleed and was between the ages of 40 and 80 at the date of the alleged event.
- Plaintiff took Xarelto® in order to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism due to nonvalvular atrial fibrillation and alleges a brain bleed/hemorrhagic stroke or death due to a brain bleed/hemorrhagic stroke and was between the ages of 50 and 90 at the date of the alleged event.
Ten cases are set for trial starting September 29, 2017, at two-week intervals as follows:
|Trial Date||Trial Category||Source of Case|
|September 29, 2017||1||Plaintiff Pick|
|October 13, 2017||1||Defense Pick|
|October 27, 2017||2||Plaintiff Pick|
|November 10, 2017||2||Defense Pick|
|November 27, 2017||3||Plaintiff Pick|
|December 11, 2017||3||Defense Pick|
|After the first six cases, the remaining four will be selected randomly. Dismissal of a trial set case shall not impact the remaining trial dates and cases set for those dates.|
Separately, defendants in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) before US District Judge Eldon E. Fallon, In RE: Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Products Liability Litigation, include Bayer Healthcare, the designer and manufacturer of Xarelto. Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a Division of Johnson & Johnson) sells Xarelto in the United States under a licensing agreement with Bayer.
Nearly 11,000 cases have been filed in the federal MDL, and bellwether trials have been set between March 13 and May 30 in the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans.
In the Philadelphia cases, the parties will confer whether cases should be added or subtracted from the list. If a case is dismissed, the party that selected the original case for inclusion in the Core-Discovery Pool will offer a replacement.
Discovery in the selected cases will begin immediately and must be completed by April 3, 2017. Core-discovery will consistof only the following depositions:
- Plaintiff and spouse or significant other;
- The health care provider(s) who prescribed Xarelto to the Plaintiff;
- One physician who provided care related to Plaintiff’s alleged physical injuries; and
- One detail representative who detailed Plaintiffs prescriber before the prescription(s) at issue.
- Plaintiffs will identify the one detail representative per case whose custodial file and deposition they want in connection with the Core-Discovery Pool cases by November 14, 2016.
Defendants may take up to 10 additional fact witness depositions, including both medical and non-medical witnesses in the Trial-Pool Cases. Defendants may seek additional depositions by leave of Court for good cause shown.