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Latest Pradaxa Lawsuit Claims Drug is Defective and Unreasonably Dangerous

The number of Pradaxa lawsuits against the makers of the controversial anticoagulant drug continue to grow as injured plaintiffs seek to hold pharmaceutical giant Boehringer lngelheim responsible for severe bleeding injuries users claim they were not warned could be a side effect of the medication.

Darlene Peterson of Heber Springs, Arkansas is one of the latest patients to bring suit after suffering a Pradaxa bleeding injury. In her July 19 claim filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Arkansas, Peterson alleges that the makers of Pradaxa made affirmative misrepresentations and omitted facts related to the safety and risks associated with using the drug, and therefore should be liable for the life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding injury she suffered after taking the drug for treatment of non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Boehringer Ingelheim held liable for failing to warn of Pradaxa risks

The case sets forth numerous bases, or causes of action, under which Boehringer lngelheim can be held liable for Peterson’s injuries and related damages in her Pradaxa lawsuit. First, the plaintiff argues that the makers of Pradaxa knew or should have known about the dangers and potential side effects associated with the drug – including the risk for bleeding injuries – and had a duty to warn users and their doctors of the potential risks by labeling the drug, but failed to do so. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the drug company marketed Pradaxa in a misleading way, by overstating the safety of the drug and understating the risks.

Next, Peterson argues that Boehringer lngelheim is responsible for her injuries under the theory of strict products liability, which says that manufacturers are liable to consumers injured by defective products, even if the company was not negligent.  Peterson’s Pradaxa lawsuit alleges that the drug is an unreasonably dangerous and defective product because the risks of injury outweigh the benefits touted, there are safer effective alternatives to Pradaxa, and the drug as administered does not meet the drug company’s own specifications and performance standards.

Strict product liability does not require manufacturers to have acted negligently in order to be held liable, but Peterson’s complaint alleges that the makers of Pradaxa were in fact negligent in their “design, testing, development, manufacture, production, licensing, promotion, sale, labeling, marketing and distribution of Pradaxa” and that the company acted recklessly and negligently when it failed to pull the drug from the market after learning about the adverse Pradaxa side effects.

The plaintiff also alleges in her complaint that Boehringer lngelheim is liable for breaching its express and implied warranties of the drug, since the product  was unsafe, dangerous, defective and not of merchantable quality, and was not fit for its intended use. By marketing the drug to the public as a safe and effective blood-thinner and an appropriate alternative to other anticoagulants, the makers of Pradaxa extended warranties of fitness and merchantability upon which Peterson relied in using the drug, and those warranties were breached when the product proved dangerous and defective, the plaintiff alleges.

Plaintiff demands damages for alleged Pradaxa bleeding injury

Finally, Peterson argues in her complaint that the drug company’s failure to adequately warn, label, test and monitor the use of Pradaxa may have violated federal legal requirements and contributed to harmful side effects like her Pradaxa bleeding injury.

Peterson asks the court to award her compensatory damages covering her past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and non-economic damages stemming from possible future complications and diminished enjoyment of life related to her Pradaxa bleeding injury, as well as attorney’s fees and court costs.