For more information or confidential assistance
Call 800-306-3180

Pradaxa MDL Moves Forward in Illinois

Pradaxa-Lawsuit-SettlementA ruling by Judge David R. Henrdon in the MDL against the Boehringer Ingelheim manufactured medication Pradaxa states that a plaintiff and the Pradaxa lawyer providing representation can receive documents connected to a whistleblower case from last year.

The MDL is proceeding in the Southern District of Illinois with plaintiffs seeking compensation for side effects of the medication such as heart attack, gastrointestinal bleeding, and brain hemorrhage.

In the whistleblower case, the manufacturer paid a $95 million settlement after the company was accused of using improper marketing practices to promote Pradaxa. In addition, they were accused of promoting three drugs for purposes that had not been medically accepted. The company is also alleged to have paid kickbacks to doctors to prescribe these drugs to patients.

Pradaxa has no known antidote for uncontrolled bleeding

Introduced by the company in October 2010, Pradaxa was designed to treat patients suffering from atrial fibrillation. It was promoted as a convenient alternative to the more commonly used medication warfarin due to its ease of use and that it did not require as much monitoring.

Warfarin, however, has an antidote—Vitamin K—if uncontrolled bleeding should occur. Pradaxa has no such antidote. Patients have experienced uncontrolled bleeding and deaths have resulted; prompting a flurry of lawsuits. The lawsuits filed against Boehringer Ingelheim are claiming the company failed to warn the public to these risks.

Plaintiffs can receive documents from case settled by manufacturer

In his ruling, Judge Herndon stated that plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits due to side effects from Pradaxa are allowed to obtain documents detailing Boehringer Ingelheim’s marketing practices with the drug. The defendant had requested a protective order on these materials, but the judge asserted that the material therein could have a bearing on more recent lawsuits against the company. The defendants stated that retrieving the documents could delay proceedings for pending cases. This too was rejected by Judge Herndon.

Manufacturer’s marketing practices an issue in Pradaxa MDL

According to the judge, even though the information from the whistleblower lawsuit involved medications other than Pradaxa, it did not make the information in the lawsuit less relevant to the complaints in the current Pradaxa case. He also said that the marketing practices utilized by Boehringer Ingelheim previously could apply to the marketing used for Pradaxa.

As a result, Judge Herndon ruled that the prior lawsuit’s findings could lead to discovery of admissible evidence in the pending cases. He added a warning that the evidence found in these documents might not be admissible in court.

Plaintiffs wanted access to the material from the previous case because they think a pattern of actions could be established and a link to Boehringer Ingelheim and their illegal marketing practices with the other drugs could extend to Pradaxa. The attorney for the defendants must compile the information from the whistleblower case for the current MDL.

First bellwether trials scheduled to begin in August, 2014

The first bellwether trials for the Pradaxa MDL are scheduled for August of 2014. Representatives from the plaintiffs and the defendant have been required by the judge to meet every month starting in August of 2013 to discuss a settlement. The ruling that the prior case’s documents must be provided is another problem for Boehringer Ingelheim as they deny allegations that they failed to warn the medical community and consumers of the risks of Pradaxa.