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First Bellwether Trials in Xarelto Multi-District Litigation Scheduled for Early 2017

The first batch of cases in the Xarelto multi-district litigation are set to go forward in early 2017. Situated in the Eastern District of Louisiana, the multi-district litigation includes numerous cases from plaintiffs alleging that they suffered serious injuries as a result of taking Xarelto, an anti-coagulant drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. A multi-district litigation, or MDL, is similar to a class action in that multiple claims are grouped together when there are sufficient similarities. Unlike in a class action, however, the plaintiffs in an MDL maintain their status as separate cases, and each plaintiff must still prove his or her individual case. Damages are not awarded to the class in general but are awarded to each plaintiff depending on the strength and merit of each individual case.

In early 2017, about four so-called bellwether cases will be tried. A bellwether case is a term used in MDL actions to describe the initial test cases that are litigated in the action. These cases typically represent common factual scenarios and damages suffered by the broader group of cases in the MDL. The outcome of these bellwether cases will serve as guidance for the parties as they negotiate a global settlement of the claims. The first two cases will be tried in Lousiana, with the third trial taking place in Mississippi and the final bellwether trial for 2017 taking place in Texas during late spring 2017. These dates are tentative and could be revised or canceled during the coming months as the parties perform discovery and prepare for the trials.

The drug was intended to serve as an alternative to Warfarin and was initially prescribed in cases involving patients who received knee surgeries or hip replacements. It was also prescribed as a way to fend off deep vein thrombosis and to prevent strokes in patients experiencing atrial fibrillation. A number of reports quickly arose indicating that patients suffered serious complications after taking Xarelto. As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued multiple black box warnings for the drug.

To recover compensation from a drug manufacturer, a plaintiff can assert a variety of theories, including strict product liability. Under this theory, a manufacturer is liable for injuries occurring as a result of the use of its product when the product is designed in an unreasonably dangerous manner, suffers from a defect during the manufacturing process, or fails to include sufficient instructions or warnings regarding its use. Unlike in a negligence case, the level of care that the manufacturer exercised is irrelevant in a strict product liability claim.

If you or someone you love has suffered injuries as a result of taking Xarelto, you may be eligible for compensation. At Moll Law Group, our Xarelto attorneys are actively investigating cases and offer a free consultation to learn more about your situation. We are available to help you investigate your potential claim, assert your rights, and pursue the full amount of compensation that your family and you deserve. Our team of skilled and compassionate product liability lawyers represents people throughout the country, including in California, Texas, Florida, and Illinois. Call us at 312-462-1700 or contact us online to set up your appointment.

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