While more than 7,000 Xarelto lawsuits have been consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) to the Eastern District of Louisiana, there are nearly 1,000 cases pending in a Philadelphia mass tort program. The judge ruled how cases will be selected for the upcoming trials. The bellwether method selects cases that are representative of the litigation as a whole, which will go to trial first so both sides can see how a jury responds to the evidence.
The selection of cases for the bellwether trials is scheduled to begin next summer. There will be a total of 24 bellwether cases currently scheduled for trial in September and December 2017.
However, bellwether cases in the Louisiana Xarelto MDL will go to trial much earlier. With bellwether MDL trials scheduled in early 2017, the outcome of these cases could impact how Xarelto manufacturers resolve the cases in the corresponding Philadelphia mass tort program. If the MDL bellwether trials favor the plaintiffs, drug manufacturers might decide to cut their losses and settle the remaining cases, decide settling the mass tort is in their best interests.
What’s The Difference Between the Xarelto Mass Tort Program and the MDL?
Lawsuits in the Philadelphia mass tort program and the MDL both contain similar allegations against Xarelto’s manufacturers, Bayer A.G. and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson). The lawsuits claim Xarelto is unreasonably dangerous and the companies failed to warn patients and doctors of the uncontrollable bleeding risks.
While the allegations against the companies are similar in both jurisdictions, the laws and rules of evidence applied to each will differ. The mass tort program is subject to Pennsylvania law, while the MDL is guided by federal law.