Thanks in part to the leadership of Aylstock Witkin Kreis & Overholtz, the makers of the blood thinner Xarelto agreed to a $775,000,000 settlement to resolve litigation filed by patients who suffered bleeding injuries after taking the prescription drug.
The agreement was announced on March 25, 2019 between Plaintiffs’ counsel leadership and Bayer Healthcare (OTC: BAYR) and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ). The settlement is a private agreement intended to resolve the entire litigation including cases in federal and state courts.
“This settlement is going to resolve thousands of claims and bring justice to patients who took Xarelto and suffered serious, life-threatening, and sometimes fatal bleeds,” says AWKO partner Neil Overholtz, who led discovery and deposition efforts in the case and served as lead trial counsel in a Xarelto bellwether trial. AWKO attorneys involved in the national multidistrict (MDL) litigation for Xarelto claims included partners Stephen Echsner, Nathan Bess, Sam Geisler, and Jennifer Hoekstra, and associate Nicole Guntner.
According to the agreement, a claims administrator and special master will be appointed to manage the claims process and any appeals and will be responsible for determining how funds will be allocated to those who are entitled to payment.
In addition to addressing lawsuits that are already part of the multidistrict litigation, the agreement resolves newly-filed claims that meet certain criteria. That includes plaintiffs whohad retained a lawyer to investigate Xarelto-related personal injury claims before March 11, 2019,register their claim by March 28, 2019, and file a civil action by April 4, 2019. Individuals involved in these lawsuits should contact their personal attorneys to address eligibility questions.
Payments will be substantially reduced for any claimant whose first Xarelto prescription was on or after December 1, 2015,and/or whose first alleged injury from Xarelto occurred on or after March 1, 2016. In addition, payments aresubject to a cap for claimants who were hospitalized for two consecutive days or less.
More than 25,000 lawsuits have been filed by Xareltopatients who alleged they suffered injuries such as internal bleeding, stroke and death. The lawsuits claim that the manufacturers downplayed Xarelto’s risks and aggressively marketed the drug as an alternative for warfarin in patients needing blood thinners to avoid dangerous clots. The lawsuits allege that doctors and patients were not fully informed of the risks, which allegedlyhave resulted in life-threatening complications.
Six cases were tried, all won by the Defendants. Bayer and Janssen do not admit any liability.
The case is In re: Xarelto (rivaroxaban) Products Liability Litigation, case number 2:14-md-02592 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
AWKO is a national leader in products liability litigation, including cases involving pharmaceutical drugs, medical devices, and other products used by consumers. In addition to the firm’s leadership in the Xarelto MDL, AWKO partner Bryan Aylstock recently served as liaison and lead settlement counsel in the Abilify MDL before Judge Casey Rodgers in Pensacola, which settled earlier this month.