PHILADELPHIA – According to a recent filing, counsel for the manufacturers of blood thinner-drug Xarelto are looking to have the lawsuits of certain plaintiffs dismissed with prejudice, supposedly for not complying with filing guidelines.
On Aug. 7, Chanda A. Miller of Drinker Biddle & Reath and Albert G. Bixler of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, both located in Philadelphia and attorneys for Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Corporation, respectively, filed a petition for issuance of a rule to show cause why the suits filed by 12 Xarelto plaintiffs allegedly not in compliance with case guidelines should not be dismissed with prejudice.
Miller and Bixler explained the terms of Case Management Order Nos. 6 and 6(a), mutually agreed upon by all parties and signed on July 7 and July 10, 2015, mandated plaintiffs to submit substantially complete fact sheets within 60 days of the date the plaintiff’s case was filed, or 60 days after July 7, 2015, whichever date was later.
The defense attorneys alleged the following case plaintiffs failed to submit such fact sheets: Dana Beauchamp, Jana Sherre Choe, Johnnie Gay, Victoria Harris, Ramadan Krasnic, Peggy Jo Law, Nancy Mathis, Jamshid Memari, Edward Reid, Patricia Reno and Allen Slater.
Additionally, Miller and Bixler alleged that plaintiff Mollie Chapman made the following numerous omissions in the filing of her case:
• Failure to respond to questions in Section I (core case information) regarding dates of Xarelto use, dosage, reason for prescription, name and address of prescribing physician, and name and of pharmacy where prescription filled;
• Alleged injury;
• Name and address of diagnosing physician;
• Whether plaintiff was hospitalized for alleged injury;
• Failure to submit pharmacy or prescription records demonstrating proof of use of Xarelto;
• Failure to submit medical records demonstrating proof of alleged injury;
• Failure to provide declaration/verification signed by plaintiff, Xarelto user, or Xarelto user’s representative;
• Failure to provide authorizations to disclose health information for each provider identified in the PFS, Section I.
Furthermore, the attorneys requested Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge Arnold L. New to issue a rule to show cause why the plaintiffs’ cases should not be dismissed with prejudice.
A hearing on this matter has been set for Sept. 6 in the courthouse located at Philadelphia City Hall, where the plaintiffs in question or their counsel are required to appear or potentially suffer dismissal of their litigation.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xarelto in 2011 for prescription to patients suffering from a rhythmic heart disorder called atrial fibrillation and to prevent blood clots which can lead to heart attacks, strokes and pulmonary embolisms.
Plaintiffs and their counsel charge Xarelto’s manufacturers with failing to properly warn patients that Xarelto use presented increased risks for cranial and gastrointestinal bleeding when taken once daily and not properly monitored.
Plaintiff counsel believe the PT test, which has been used to identify patients with bleeding risks for years, would have been beneficial to plaintiffs negatively affected by the drug. In contrast, counsel for Xarelto’s manufacturers countered that the PT test isn’t scientifically reliable.
Currently, more than 1,900 cases – most from out-of-state plaintiffs – will be handled in Philadelphia’s Complex Litigation Center. The CLC has several mass tort programs, including cases over asbestos and Risperdal, and the percentage of claims belonging to out-of-state plaintiffs has traditionally been in the high 80s.
In 2016, the percentage for pharmaceutical lawsuits dropped to 74 percent. In 2017, CLC stats show that figure jumped to an unprecedented 94 percent. Statistics recently released from the CLC for the first half of 2018 show the rate of out-of-state plaintiffs only dropped slightly, to 84 percent.
More than 18,000 Xarelto lawsuits have been consolidated through the federal court system’s multi-district litigation (MDL) process, which utilizes bellwether trials to establish evidence and determine any settlement value for similar plaintiff claims.
The federal Xarelto MDL is listed as Case No. 2592, consolidating individual actions filed against Bayer, Janssen and Johnson & Johnson. U.S. District Court Judge Eldon E. Fallon presided over the initial three federal bellwether trials, two of which took place in New Orleans, La., plus another in Jackson, Miss.
Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150102349
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at firstname.lastname@example.org