Philadelphia Court Sets 10 Xarelto Cases for Bellwether Trials

xarelto internal-bleedingPennsylvania 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.

Discovery schedule

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:

  1. Plaintiff and spouse or significant other;
  2. The health care provider(s) who prescribed Xarelto to the Plaintiff;
  3. One physician who provided care related to Plaintiff’s alleged physical injuries; and
  4. One detail representative who detailed Plaintiffs prescriber before the prescription(s) at issue.
  5. 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.

Read More

Court Approves Bair Hugger Plaintiff Fact Sheet and Medical Form

bair-hugger-infectionUS District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen for the District of Minnesota approved a Plaintiff Fact Sheet as well as procedures to use it in 3M Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Products Liability Litigation — MDL No. 2666, where 700 cases are filed, charging that it causes deep hip and knee infections.

The Sept. 27 order specifies that each plaintiff must serve defendants’ lead counsel electronically with a completed 22-page Fact Sheet and a signed medical authorization within 90 days. New plaintiffs, or those who have their cases transferred to the MDL, also have 90 days after the filing of their complaint/short-form complaint, or completed transfer.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation created the MDL on December 11, 2015, when only 14 cases were pending. The plaintiffs allege that the device is defective in two respects:

  1. The device affects airflow in the operating room, causing bacteria from the operating room floor to be deposited into the surgical site.
  2. The internal airflow paths of the device’s blower can become contaminated with pathogens that can then be expelled into the operating room.

Deep joint infection

The actions present common issues about the development, manufacture, testing, regulatory approval process, and marketing of the Bair Hugger blanket. The plaintiffs developed a deep joint infection after hip or knee implant surgery. 3M is accused of ignoring the flaw for years, and of failing to make design changes or provide appropriate safety warnings to the medical community.

The Bair Hugger surgical warming system was brought to market in 1987 by Arizant Healthcare, Inc., which was acquired by the 3M Company in 2008. For further information, see Study: Contamination Increased 2000x With Bair Hugger Warming Blanket.

Starting in November 2016, the regularly scheduled status conferences shall be held on the third Thursday of each month.

Read More