There are thousands of lawsuits that are being filed against Janssen Pharmaceutical, the makers of the drug Xarelto. Xarelto is otherwise known as rivaroxaban and is prescribed as a blood thinner for those that have suffered from strokes, pulmonary embolisms, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Janssen Pharmaceutical is a company owned by Johnson and Johnson, and they work in conjunction with Bayer Healthcare to market the drug.
The lawsuits brought against Janssen Pharmaceutical and Bayer Healthcare state that Xarelto has caused irreversible damage by causing deadly internal bleeding problems and that other medications would have been equally effective without endangering the lives of patients. Additionally, many of these lawsuits claim that Janssen and Bayer failed to inform healthcare professionals with proper guidelines for which kinds of patients were qualified for treatment via Xarelto in additional to failing to provide proper screening and warning signs for negative side effects of Xarelto.
Why Should You File a Xarelto Lawsuit
Proper procedure for administering Xarelto, amongst other complicated drugs, states that healthcare providers should test patients to see if Xarelto is the right treatment and those patients should continue to be tested to ensure that Xarelto is continuing to work. Since the drug is known to cause potential uncontrollable bleeding, it is especially important to conduct these tests before and during treatment.
The Xarelto lawsuits argue that Xarelto is a drug that should only be administered in extreme cases, yet the drug is being marketed as a general use anticoagulant. An apt metaphor would be administering powerful narcotics for a small injury or using a nuclear missile to hunt game - the treatment may technically work, but it is extreme overkill and has too many risky potential complications. Xarelto is best used in cases where no other anticoagulant would work and during treatment with Xarelto, patients need to be regularly monitored to see if they may no longer be fit to take the drug.
These lawsuits have several key arguments. First, Xarelto is dangerous and arguably defective. Second, Janssen did not take proper precautions while manufacturing the drug. Third, Janssen failed to conduct proper testing for the medication. Fourth, Janssen and Bayer failed to warn both patients and healthcare providers of the possibility of uncontrolled bleeding. Fifth, Janssen and Bayer actively hid evidence of these dangerous effects from the public and from regulatory bodies. Sixth, Janssen and Bayer, while knowing the drug was unsafe, continued to promoted Xarelto as a general use anticoagulant and promoted the drug as safe to use.
Summary of Xarelto
Xarelto is a blood thinner or anticoagulant first approved by the FDA in 2011. Since then it has been commonly prescribed to help fight against blood clots from forming in patients suffering from atrial fibrillation, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and stroke. The drug works as an inhibitor for a naturally occurring biological factor called Factor Xa. Previously, there was no known antidote for correcting Factor Xa production if the drug dosage is too high, but not Portola Pharmaceuticals has created an antidote that was approved by the FDA in May of 2018 called AndexXa. While it is important to note that there is currently treatment options for those that suffer from Xarelto overdose, there is still a high level of risk associated with taking Xarelto.
Xarelto generally is prescribed as an alternative to warfarin (Coumadin), a blood thinner that began to be used in 1954. The primary benefit of Xarelto over warfarin is the manufacturer claims the drug requires little patient monitoring, blood tests, and the dosage level is standard for virtually all users. Whether this statement is true is being addressed in pending litigation.
Xarelto Known Side Effects
Xarelto is known to cause some serious side-effects. Currently, the most pertinent side effect associated with Xarelto is uncontrollable internal hemorrhaging. Xarelto is an anticoagulant (or blood thinner) which by design causes blood to clot less. This means that you are less prone to having a serious condition that is typically associated with clotting factors, but it also means that if you are bleeding, your blood loses its natural ability to clot and stop the bleeding. The hemorrhaging caused by Xarelto means that blood under the effects of the drug, almost completely loses its ability to clot, and therefore uncontrollable bleeding can occur. If such bleeding occurs, there is almost no treatment other than emergency dialysis, which is a process that removes blood from your body, filters it through a machine, and reinserts the blood into the body. The other option is to simply wait for the Xarelto to filter out of the patient’s system, but if such bleeding is happening, then the patient may not be able to wait for the drug to wear off and simple bleeding problems can become fatal.
However, bleeding is not the only side effect of Xarelto. Other known side effects include increased risk of infection, decreased hemoglobin, hematoma, peripheral edema, and dyspnea.
Blood thinners change the composition of the blood, and blood is a crucial mechanism within the body for fighting off infection. Therefore, infection is more common, especially in cases of common joint replacement surgeries.
Decreased hemoglobin results in increased difficulty in circulating oxygen to the body. Hemoglobin is the compound within blood that transports oxygen around the body. Even a small decrease in hemoglobin can lead to significant difficulty in breathing (dyspnea) and can cause fatigue, exhaustion, and possible syncope (fainting or blacking out).
Hematoma is a blood complication that can cause masses to form within the blood. Ironically, the drug is aimed at reducing blood clots and other clot related disorders, but the drug itself can cause clots.
Lastly, since the blood is thinned using Xarelto, it is possible that patients will experience peripheral edema or swelling of the extremities. Thinner blood and lower hemoglobin mean that the heart needs to circulate blood faster to make sure your body and brain are getting enough oxygen. If your circulation is already weak, then taking Xarelto can weaken your circulation even further causing extremities such as your toes and fingers, and even your arms and legs to swell uncomfortably.
Are You Currently Taking Xarelto?
Although Xarelto has not been recalled yet, the FDA has mandated that that Xarelto is sold with several important warnings. First, the FDA has officially warned Johnson and Johnson and Bayer Healthcare that the advertisements for Xarelto make misleading claims and purposefully seeks to make the risks seem minimal. Second, Johnson and Johnson are required to add a warning discussing potential interactions with St. John’s Wort, CYP3A4 inhibitors, and certain anesthesia. In addition, Johnson and Johnson is required to provide information on the effects of kidney and renal system function and the potential bleeding side effects.
Patients currently taking Xarelto should attempt to avoid doing anything can result in a cut or bruise. While taking Xarelto, even these minor bumps and scrapes can be life threatening. If you sustain cuts or bruises on your person and you start experiencing dizziness, fatigue, confusion, or headaches, it is crucially important that you contact a medical professional immediately. These are symptoms of blood loss and they will only continue to get worse until you are treated.
While it is important to note that you should be cautious if you are taking Xarelto, it is important that you do not cease taking Xarelto or change your dosage without talking to your doctor first. Although it may have some dangerous side effects, depending on your condition, these may be risks worth taking as opposed to having a stroke or other clot related condition.
If you are taking Xarelto and are receiving medical treatment, make sure to tell all doctors and nurses that you are using Xarelto as well as any other medications you may be taking. The interactions between drugs and treatments are important information for your doctor.
Many Xarelto settlements have already been won. If you or someone close to you is taking Xarelto and has suffered from uncontrollable bleeding, you may be entitled to damages including but not limited to:
- Medical expenses related to Xarelto complications, both past and future.
- Compensation for pain and suffering related to Xarelto complications, both past and future.
- Compensation wage losses, both past and future.
- Compensation for punitive damages.
Currently, there has not been a mass settlement involving Xarelto. However, there is one case that awarded nearly $30 million in damages. This verdict has since been overturned and is pending appeal. Additionally, several other lawsuits have found in favor of Janssen and Bayer.
If you or someone close to you has taken Xarelto, it is important that you contact a lawyer immediately. While no mass settlements have been awarded yet, that does not mean that there will never be a class action lawsuit or mass tort brought against Janssen Pharmaceutical and contacting a lawyer is the best way to know if you are eligible for compensation.
Xarelto Class Action Lawsuit
A class action lawsuit is defined as a lawsuit that features a number of people that file a lawsuit as a group, often with similar injuries or conditions. Technically a representative party (or attorney) represents all people who have been affected by a specific kind of case. Since there are over 22,000 lawsuits to date that have been filed against Johnson and Johnson regarding Xarelto, Xarelto cases may be a prime candidate for a class action lawsuit. However, a class action lawsuit requires that the representative attorney, bring together all of the affected parties, notify them of potential for participation, and give them an opportunity to opt out. As such, it is difficult to bring together a large class action lawsuit like the case that would be brought against the makers of Xarelto. We will examine what a Xarelto Class Action Lawsuit may look like, and the steps you can take towards receiving compensation from a class action lawsuit.
Although class action lawsuit is probably the terminology that you may be familiar with, there are other legal phrases that represent a similar concept. Mass tort or multi-district litigations are similar concepts. A mass tort litigation is a type of class action lawsuit that typically tends to deal with much larger cases involving multiple parties.
There are many different paths to a class action lawsuit, but some of the types of class action lawsuits that you may be familiar with are defective consumer products (e.g. Samsung phones exploding), harmful pharmaceuticals (like Xarelto and other pharmaceuticals), improperly functioning vehicles (car airbag recalls), and many more. Additionally, sometimes there are class action lawsuits regarding consumer fraud (when a company lies to customers), corporate misconduct (misconduct involving large numbers of employees), securities fraud (misinforming regarding financial trades), and employment practices (hiring and firing of employees).
If you feel that a product has caused you personal harm or a company has defrauded you, and you believe that there may be others in your situation, it is a good idea to contact legal help. Many law firms will be willing to help you figure out if you have a case or not.
Defining a Class Action Lawsuit
A class action lawsuit is most typically used when a large number of people have suffered minor injuries from a similar cause. Because the injuries were minor, many would elect not to pursue a lawsuit on their own. However, the additive value of many individuals experiencing similar suffering creates a much more powerful case than thousands of individual cases. For many individuals, little to no action is actually needed when participating in a class action lawsuit. Many times, you will be contacted as potentially having been affected by a certain case and the only action you as an individual need to take will be to opt in or to opt out. It is important to note that if you choose to opt into a class, you will not be able to sue for the same offense on your own. Class action lawsuits are important because it simplifies what would otherwise be an incredibly grueling process of filing thousands of similar lawsuits. Overall the process for a class action is much more efficient and also economical. Litigation costs for the average plaintiff would be much higher if every member of a class was brought to court individually. However, the caveat is that if the defendant wins, the entire class action is dismissed and the individual members of the class cannot file a lawsuit against the same defendant for the same issue.
If your injuries are particularly severe or you are impacted by a case in a more substantial way, you may be approached to be a named plaintiff for the class action case. If you elect to participate in a class action case as a named plaintiff, you will likely have to participate heavily in the lawsuit including providing information or possibly even acting as a witness. If you are approached for participating as a named plaintiff within a class action lawsuit, it is important that you have personal representation. Having your own attorney will help you to navigate your place within a class action lawsuit and will make sure that someone is looking out for your wellbeing during a case that involves potentially thousands of people. It may even be in your best interest to forego participating in a class action in favor of another option.
In addition to injury lawsuits, there are many other types of class action lawsuits. Some other examples of a class action lawsuits may be:
- a group of employees who may have been racially discriminated against,
- patients who were prescribed a drug with impactful negative side effects,
- a neighborhood whose property or families were damaged or hurt by a toxic spill,
- consumers that purchased a product that might have caused them bodily harm,
- investors who were defrauded during the purchase of stocks.
To define some other common terminology used during class action lawsuits, the group that is formed for a class action lawsuit is called a “class”. The organizing attorney or firm is called the “class representative”. Lastly, the lawsuit itself and the subsequent court ruling is called the “action”.
What is a Mass Tort Action?
A tort is a civil wrongdoing (compared to a criminal offense) committed by an individual that causes injury to another individual. The individual that has committed the tort (or the defendant) is liable for harm suffered by the victim (plaintiff) if there is sufficient evidence to prove that the action did indeed cause or result in harm to the plaintiff. A mass tort is simply a tort that results in a large number of victims. Since corporations are treated in law as a single individual, a corporation may be sued as part of a mass tort involving a large number of plaintiffs against a single defendant. The main difference between a Mass Tort Action and a Class Action is that in a mass tort action, each individual victim has their own separate trial resulting in separate damages. To contrast, a class action typically groups together all of the members into a single trial and splits the damages.
Most mass tort cases fall into two main categories. A consumer product claim is a mass tort in which the victims were injured or possibly even killed by a single product. The second main type of tort are pharmaceutical claims, where a single drug may have negatively impacted many individuals. When the damages are particularly severe or many victims are claiming varying levels of damages, a lawyer may request permission from the court to file a mass tort action instead of as individual lawsuits.
The court generally makes a decision based on several factors. Firstly, the court will consider the physical location of the plaintiffs; plaintiffs in many different locations complicate the proceedings of a mass tort action and will complicate the case. Secondly, were the injuries suffered by the plaintiffs similar enough to be considered as part of a single tort? Thirdly, can the various claims be associated by a common cause? If the court determines that filing as a mass tort action is appropriate, then the case is assigned to a judge who typically mandates that the mass tort action be publicized so that other afflicted parties may elect to participate.
Notification of Class Action and Mass Tort Action
Part of the reason that a class action or mass tort action may be drawn out and difficult is that every person who may be a part of the class has the right to be notified that there is a class action lawsuit ongoing. Although it is logistically impossible to ensure that every individual is notified, most class action lawsuits include a court mandate that the class representative makes a reasonable attempt to contact every affected individual. The class representative may use any number of means to notify class members but some common techniques include, TV and radio commercials, print media advertisements, website advertisements, emails, paper mail, etc. Most class representatives will attempt to contact potential class members multiple times because generally speaking, the larger the class, the stronger the case. If you choose to opt into a class or mass tort, you may receive some kind of compensation at the end of the lawsuit. However, if you participate in a class action or mass tort action, most times you are also waiving your own right to launch your own lawsuit.
Finding a Xarelto Lawsuit Near Me
In the case of Xarelto, thousands of individual lawsuits have been filed. Although no class action or mass tort has yet been formed, that does not mean that there will never be a class action or mass tort brought against Johnson and Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Healthcare. If you or someone you know has taken Xarelto in the past and is possibly experiencing negative health effects, call Consumer Alert Now at (800) 511-0747 so that you can be notified of potential class action or mass tort actions. Consumer Alert Now is looking for Xarelto patients nationwide and is the first step in helping you get the compensation that you deserve.