What You Need To Know About Pradaxa Lawsuits
Over 170 Pradaxa lawsuits have been filed in U.S. Federal District Courts against the pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, for injuries arising from the use of the drug Pradaxa. With additional legal filings anticipated, the cases have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Southern District of Illinois, case #12-MD-2385, Judge David Herndon presiding.
What Is a Multidistrict Litigation?
An MDL consolidates multiple lawsuits alleging similar injuries and similar causes of action against the same defendant(s). The consolidation is for discovery and evidentiary purposes and is intended to streamline the legal process for all the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuits. If trials for individual lawsuits are held, the evidence from the MDL is stipulated to by the plaintiff(s) and defendant(s) which saves time and avoids duplication in the courts. Parties to the MDL file all pretrial motions before individual court dates are scheduled.
Pradaxa Bellwether Trials
Bellwether trials are lawsuits that are scheduled for early trial dates to determine how juries are likely to find in future similar cases. Judge Herndon originally scheduled the first Pradaxa bellwether trials for August 2014, but has since expedited the process and early trials are now scheduled for March 2014. Trials are expected to continue past 2015 depending on the number of cases in the MDL. New Pradaxa lawsuits filed in federal district courts are automatically added to the MDL.
Judge Reports MDL Is Progressing
Judge Herndon told a reporter for the Madison-St.Clair Record that steady progress is being made in the Pradaxa MDL. Tens of thousands of documents have been produced in the discovery phase and once the documents have been reviewed, depositions of officials from Boehringer are scheduled to begin. The discovery phase allows legal representatives of the plaintiffs and defendants to produce records and official documents to support their allegations in the Pradaxa lawsuit.
Number of Pradaxa Lawsuits Expected to Grow
Legal experts from Bloomberg News anticipate that the number of Pradaxa lawsuits at both the state and federal levels will continue to grow. Pradaxa cases are pending in state courts in California, Illinois, Delaware and Connecticut. Experts believe that the final number of lawsuits may exceed 4,000 based on the more than 3.7 million prescriptions that were written for the drug and the percentage of serious side effects that have been reported. If you or someone you love has suffered from serious side effects after taking Pradaxa, you may be entitled to legal compensation for your injuries.
Why File a Lawsuit for Pradaxa Related Injuries?
In many cases, filing a Pradaxa lawsuit may be the only way to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses related to an injury caused by the side effects of Pradaxa. Some families have also filed legal actions as a warning to others of the serious side effects of the drug. Civil actions, like lawsuits, can force individuals or corporations to acknowledge wrongful acts and make restitution to injured parties through trial verdicts or out of court settlements.
Who Can File a Pradaxa Lawsuit?
Anyone who has experienced uncontrolled bleeding after taking Pradaxa may be eligible to file a lawsuit for compensation of their injuries. Immediate family members of people who have died from Pradaxa side effects can file a wrongful death lawsuit. A lawyer who specializes in product liability cases can evaluate your claim and determine what steps you should take to receive compensation. Consultation with a Pradaxa lawyer is free and the lawyer does not get paid until you receive compensation for your injuries.
Released and aggressively marketed in 2010, Pradaxa was advertised as a safer, more effective medication for treatment of atrial fibrillation than warfarin, which was previously the only anticoagulant used to treat the condition. The effectiveness of warfarin can be compromised if patients consume certain foods, but this problem does not arise with Pradaxa. What Boehringer failed to mention in their advertising campaign is that bleeding caused by warfarin can be controlled with the administration of vitamin K, but there is no antidote for Pradaxa bleeding.
In 2011 alone, over 540 deaths were linked to the side effects of Pradaxa and thousands of patients reported serious adverse events including cerebral (brain) hemorrhage and intestinal bleeding. A lawsuit filed by Roy Heady of Cookeville, TN states that he was hospitalized for a brain hemorrhage after his doctor switched his medication from warfarin to Pradaxa. Another lawsuit, filed by Charles Jackson of Nashville, TN alleges that intestinal bleeding that occurred 3 weeks after he began therapy with Pradaxa was caused by the drug’s side effects.
Allegations against Boehringer Ingelheim
All drugs have potential side effects that can range from mild to severe and drug makers have a duty to provide complete and accurate information about possible side effects to doctors and patients. Allegations in product liability lawsuits for Pradaxa claim that the manufacturer provided misleading, inaccurate or incomplete information about the drug. Causes of action against Boehringer Ingelheim include the following allegations:
- Pradaxa was marketed as a safer and more convenient alternative to warfarin when clinical studies indicated that risks for both medications were about the same. The maker failed to include information, that unlike warfarin, there was no antidote for the effects of Pradaxa.
- The drug maker failed to include accurate dosing information, indicating that follow up doctor visits for dosage adjustments were not necessary with Pradaxa.
- Warnings about the potential risk of serious uncontrollable bleeding that could result in death were not adequate.
- Protocols for treating patients suffering from severe side effects were not established prior to the release of the drug.
- The maker failed to adequately research product safety and failed to establish variables in recommending correct dosages.
- Boehringer deliberately concealed the fact that Pradaxa was dangerous.
Some Pradaxa lawsuits also allege that the original labeling and dosage information that was printed between October 2010 and March 2011 did not include adequate dosing information by the patient’s weight, did not adequately warn about the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding especially in patients with pre-existing gastrointestinal conditions, did not provide adequate warnings about specific risks to older patients and those with renal impairment and failed to advise patients and their doctors that there were no established medical treatments for patients with uncontrolled bleeding.
Adverse events related to the side effects of drugs are reported to the FDA and in 2011, Pradaxa had the dubious honor of being in first place for number of adverse events. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury from the side effects of Pradaxa, you can get a free compensation evaluation to help you decide if you should file a Pradaxa Lawsuit for your damages.