The federal multidistrict litigation involving hundreds of Xarelto lawsuits continues to move forward in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. According to a Consent Order dated October 18th, the Court has clarified the obligations of all parties to preserve voicemails, instant messages sent or received on an instant messaging system, or text messages sent or received on a cellular phone, smartphone, tablet or other mobile device.
The provisions of the Order became effective on September 15, 2015. Among other things, Xarelto lawyers were instructed to contact and instruct individual plaintiffs to refrain from initiating text messages, instant messages or voicemail for substantive communications relating to the drug, their medication condition, or claim for damages. Any Plaintiff who does initiate a substantive communication by one of these means is obligated to preserve or transcribe the communication.
The Order contains similar provisions that apply to any of the Defendants’ current U.S. employees who have been designated as document custodians either in Defendants’ Voluntary Disclosures, or via a Plaintiffs’ request.
Court documents indicate that nearly 1,700 product liability claims have been filed in the Eastern District of Louisiana on behalf of individuals who allegedly suffered dangerous episodes of Xarelto bleeding and/or related complications. Plaintiffs accuse the drug’s manufacturers of failing to provide patients with adequate warnings about the serious internal bleeding that can sometimes accompany use of Xarelto, and point out that there is currently no approved antidote to reverse the drug’s anticoagulant effects. The lawsuits also accuse the drug makers of wrongly marketing Xarelto as a superior alternative to warfarin, a blood thinner that has been in use for decades. Among other things, plaintiffs point out that bleeding associated with warfarin can be reversed via the administration of vitamin k.
The Xarelto complaints pending in Louisiana have been centralized so that the federal docket may undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings. The litigation is preparing for its first bellwether trials, which will get underway in 2017.
Bernstein Liebhard LLP represents plaintiffs in Xarelto lawsuits. If you or a loved one were seriously harmed by this blood thinner, please call (888) 979-1182 to arrange for a free legal review with one of our Firm’s attorneys.