August 10, 2012 – On Wednesday, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) ruled that all Pradaxa lawsuits filed in federal courthouses around the country will be consolidated before one judge for pretrial proceedings. All of the claims involve similar allegations that Pradaxa caused severe – and in some cases fatal – internal bleeding events.
Free Pradaxa Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by Pradaxa, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
What’s the problem?
After hearing arguments from parties both in favor of and against consolidation, the JPML ultimately ruled that the Pradaxa litigation will be centralized before U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon in the Southern District of Illinois.
All of the Pradaxa lawsuits involve similar allegations that plaintiffs suffered uncontrollable internal bleeding events after taking the drug. The suits claim that drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim failed to adequately warn the public and medical communities about the risks associated with its best-selling drug, and for placing profits before public safety.
First approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2010, Pradaxa (generic: dabigatran) is a widely-prescribed anticoagulant medication used for the prevention of strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation. Boehringer originally marketed the drug as superior to Coumadin (generic: warfarin) because it supposedly requires less patient monitoring to treat. However, if an internal bleeding event occurs in a patient being treated with Coumadin, it can be quickly counteracted with a single dose of vitamin K, whereas with Pradaxa there is no such antidote.
According to a January 2012 report issued by the Institutes for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), more cases of severe hemorrhages from Pradaxa were reported to the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) during the first quarter of 2011 than with any other drug monitored by the group. During that short time period, at least 505 instances involving Pradaxa bleeding events were reported, compared to just 176 cases reported with Coumadin, which came in second on the list.
Even before the Pradaxa MDL was formed, at least 17 internal bleeding lawsuits were already pending before Herndon, representing about half of the cases filed nationwide. While the JPML was in the process of determining where the litigation would be centralized, the judge denied a request filed by Boehringer to stay the proceedings. Therefore, those cases have continued to move forward in recent months.
Boehringer initially opposed centralization of the Pradaxa litigation, arguing that because of the massive MDL over Yaz and Yasmin blood clot lawsuits pending in Herndon’s court, the judge would be far too busy to handle the proceedings in a timely manner. The JPML disagreed, however, pointing out that centralization in Herndon’s district would facilitate coordination with pending state court litigation, including at least one Pradaxa lawsuit filed in Illinois on behalf of more than 70 plaintiffs. The panel also cited Herndon’s wealth of experience in handling the Yaz and Yasmin litigation as ample reason for him to handle the Pradaxa MDL.
Judge Herndon will oversee all pretrial proceedings in the Pradaxa MDL, as well as any bellwether trials that may be scheduled in the future. However, if a settlement cannot be reached or the cases go unresolved, individual lawsuits may be bounced back to the districts they were originally filed to be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Do I Have a Pradaxa Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Pradaxa lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured by Pradaxa, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Pradaxa Suit and our lawyers can help.