Bayer, Janssen agreement ends four-year legal fight
NEW ORLEANS, March 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The makers of the popular blood thinner Xarelto® have reached a $775 million settlement to resolve litigation filed by patients who suffered a bleeding injury after taking the prescription drug.
According to the agreement announced earlier today between plaintiff lawyer leadership and Bayer Healthcare (BAYRY) and Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), the settlement is a private agreement intended to resolve the entire litigation including cases in federal and state courts.
"This is a fair and just resolution for thousands of consumers who have substantial claims," says Andy Birchfield of the Beasley Allen law firm and co-lead counsel of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for the federal multidistrict litigation. "This was a massive and complex matter and we appreciate the guiding role played by federal judge Eldon E. Fallon who oversaw the federal litigation."
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.
"We're pleased that these drug companies have agreed to allow all these Xarelto patients to move their claims forward after years of seeking justice," says Brian Barr of the Levin Papantonio law firm and co-lead counsel of the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee for multidistrict litigation. "It may have taken more than four years and six separate trials but litigation like this is an important way for consumers to have a voice in matters of drug safety."
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 who had 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 are subject to a cap for claimants who were hospitalized for two consecutive days or less.
More than 25,000 lawsuits have been filed by Xarelto patients 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 allegedly have 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.