Bayer, J&J hit with $27.8 million verdict in Philadelphia Xarelto lawsuit

by Eric Pearson

A jury in Pennsylvania has awarded $27.8 million to an Indiana couple over a severe bleed caused by the bloodthinner Xarelto. Lynn Hartmann and her husband alleged that pharmaceutical giants Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson failed to warn them about the risk of severe bleeding events associated with the use of Xarelto.

According to the couple’s lawsuit, Lynn was prescribed Xarelto in order to reduce her risk of suffering a stroke. Lynn suffered from a type of irregular heartbeat known as an atrial fibrillation, which could increase her risk of suffering a stroke.

After one year of taking Xarelto, Lynn was hospitalized in June 2014 with severe gastrointestinal bleeding. Lynn was forced to undergo four blood transfusions in order to counteract the anticoagulant effects of Xarelto. After she stopped taking Xarelto and switched to another bloodthinner, Lynn was able to make a full recovery from her injuries, which she says were caused by Xarelto.

Lynn and her husband filed a lawsuit against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson in 2015 over the injuries she suffered after using Xarelto. During the trial, the couple alleged that the two drugmakers failed to adequately warn patients about the risk of severe bleeding events associated with Xarelto. Since it was approved, Xarelto has been linked to at least 370 deaths from severe bleeding events, according to FDA records.

The Philadelphia jury that heard the Hartman’s lawsuit against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson order the company to pay $28 million in damages. The verdict included $1.8 million in actual damages and an additional $26 million in punitive damages. The verdict is the first legal victory for plaintiffs in the Xarelto litigation, following three consecutive verdicts in favor of Bayer and Johnson & Johnson.

Xarelto Lawsuits Filed Over Severe Bleeding Incidents

Xarelto was approved by the FDA in 2011. The drug belonged to a class of medications that was intended to replace Coumadin, a bloodthinner that had been the standard anticoagulant treatment since the 1960s. Xarelto became Bayer’s top-selling drug, with $3.2 billion in sales during 2016, and the third highest-selling drug for Johnson & Johnson, with $2.3 billion in sales last year.

However, concerns about the safety of Xarelto began to arise shortly after the drug’s release. Unlike older bloodthinners, Xarelto did not have an antidote that could be administered to patients who experienced severe bleeding incidents while using the drug. As a result, patients who used Xarelto could face an increased risk of severe bleeding incidents, including gastrointestinal bleeding, epidural or spinal hematomas (spinal bleeding), hemorrhaging, and internal bleeding.

The recent verdict against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson was the first of about 1,400 Xarelto lawsuits facing the two drugmakers in Philadelphia court. Bayer and Johnson & Johnson also face more than 18,500 lawsuits filed over Xarelto in federal court, which have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in Louisiana. In a recent SEC filing, Johnson & Johnson reported that the number of Xarelto lawsuits filed against the company has climbed by 27% during 2017

Xarelto Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson

If you or a loved one suffered severe bleeding or other complications after using Xarelto, you may qualify to file a lawsuit against the manufacturers of the drug. The first step in filing a claim is to consult with an attorney to find out more about your legal rights.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed lawsuits on behalf of patients who were injured after taking the blood thinners Pradaxa and Xarelto. Our firm has also handled numerous other pharmaceutical liability cases, including lawsuits involving the drugs Yasmin, Actos, Avandia, and Zofran. Heygood, Orr & Pearson has handled more cases involving the fentanyl pain patch than all other law firms in the country combined, and have filed numerous lawsuits on behalf of patients who were injured after taking other dangerous medications.

For more information about filing a Xarelto lawsuit and to receive a free consultation about your case, contact the attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following this link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions about your case to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.