The Philadelphia Xarelto mass tort seems to be edging closer to the trial stage, and as this is happening, Bayer AG and Janssen Pharmaceuticals have hinted they want to know who are third-party lawsuit funding are. There are people providing lawsuit funding against the companies. The defendants want to know who are the people funding the plaintiffs in the Xarleto lawsuits.
Janssen and Bayer filed a motion in April. The motion was requesting the court to compel discovery in regards to third-party lawsuit funding. The motion, filed with the Philadelphia Court of Common Peas, was filed at the beginning of April.
Bellwether cases in the lawsuit have been placed on a shortlist. Defendants now want to know more about third-party ligation funding. They would like to find out more details before the selection of bellwether cases for the trials.
As of now, there are around 1,200 cases on the tort docket. However, 24 cases have qualified for bellwether status. The defendants in the case feel that in order to determine which cases on the shortlist will be tried first, then they should know who is providing the lawsuit funding.
Xarelto arrived on the market as an alternative to Warfarin, which is a well-known blood-thinner that has considered being the gold-standard. Xarelto has been proven to be effective at helping prevent blood clots and stroke in older patients. The downside of Warfarin is that strict dieting is required and there are other factors that are required in order for patients to remain in a safe zone and to avoid bleeding events, as well as serious hemorrhages.
The FDA approved Xarelto as an alternative to Warfarin, and it did not require the same amount of monitoring that Warfarin required. This is one of the reasons why the drug was touted as an effective alternative to Warfarin. It was also touted as an easier and safe alternative to Warfarin.
However, the side effects associated with Xarelto have caused a lot of problems for many people and the drug was brought to the market without an agent to reverse the thinning properties of the drug. With an infusion of Vitamin K, Warfarin can be reversed, but Xarelto doesn’t respond to Vitamin K infusions. This has led to serious issues, such as bleeding complications and there have been some deaths reported.
Plaintiffs allege that the manufacturers of the drug claimed that it didn’t require the same extent of monitoring that is required with Warfarin, but given the lack of an agent to reverse the drug’s effects, it seems that Xarelto does require a lot of monitoring. Plaintiffs also claim that the manufacturers knew that the drug couldn’t be reversed in the same manner as Warfarin, and if they knew this information, then they wouldn’t have taken the drug. Some plaintiffs said they would have consented to Xarelto if they knew.
The request to find out who is funding the plaintiffs’ lawsuits is a new trend, and the defendants said the motion was filed because they need to understand the context of the selection of bellwether cases and it is in the interest of an orderly processed. The defendants also said it may help determine if the individuals or entities have a stake in the outcome of the lawsuit. In other words, part of the reason is because the defendants want to know if any lawsuit funding has something to gain.
Lawyers represented the plaintiffs countered, saying the requests were broad. They said that it reaches into the territory of attorney-client privilege. As of now, it’s not clear if the defendants’ request will be approved or denied.