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All Federal Pradaxa Lawsuits are Consolidated into the Southern District of Illinois

Plaintiffs hiring an attorney and seeking compensation for Pradaxa injuries usually do so as a result of severe bleeding events. Pradaxa, meant to be an alternative to warfarin, has no readily available antidote for serious bleeding events, making these incidences particularly dangerous. Some patients have died after taking the drug.

The U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), on August 8, 2012, consolidated all federal Pradaxa lawsuits into the Southern District of Illinois. In the latest order issued by presiding Judge David R. Herndon, the first status conference has been scheduled for October 3, 2012.

By 2011, there were over 2,300 reports of problems from Pradaxa

The FDA approved Pradaxa for the prevention of strokes in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation on 2010, but by 2011, the FDA had received over 2,300 reports of problems with the drug, including 542 deaths. Warfarin, the most popular similar drug, was associated with only about 1,100 reports including 72 deaths.

The Pradaxa MDL will conserve judicial resources and reduce the risk of inconsistent rulings. It may also encourage the negotiation of Pradaxa settlements. If the parties can’t come to an agreement prior to the scheduled trial dates, each case will return to the federal district where it was filled to go to trial. Patients who have been injured by Pradaxa may benefit from a consultation with an attorney to determine their eligibility to file a case.

Manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim accused of over-promoting Pradaxa while downplaying its side effects

As of August 31, 2012, the Pradaxa MDL had grown to include 78 cases, and is expected to continue to expand as more lawsuits across the nation are expected to continue to expand as more lawsuits across the nation are transferred into Illinois. Each attorney is likely to argue that manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim failed to adequately warn of the drug’s risk, including the potential for bleeding deaths from the drug. The company is also accused of over-promoting the drug as a way to reduce the risk of stroke while downplaying the possible side effects.

Judge Herndon stated in his first case management order on August 17, 2012, that he planned to move the litigation forward as quickly as possible: “the plaintiffs and potential plaintiffs will benefit from an expeditious resolution to the factual allegations made in this case, whether the plaintiffs’ allegations are proven or disproven.” He added that doctors, as well, will benefit from a quick resolution of the matter.

Date set for the first status conference is October 3, 2012

The first case management order also set the date for the October 3, 2012 status conference, where it is expected that attorneys on both sides will discuss the organization and structure of the litigation. Judge Herndon warned that attorneys waiting to apply for leadership positions need to be ready for court decisions that will encourage rapid resolution.

The judge also issued instructions regarding creation of the first bellwether trials, requiring them to be tried in approximately 18 to 24 months from now. The order recognizes the seriousness of the injuries sustained by plaintiffs, including Pradaxa deaths, as well as the advanced age of many of those who have hired an attorney to pursue a case.

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