More than 650 people who suffered side effects from the blood thinner Pradaxa – including gastrointestinal, rectal and brain bleeding – have filed lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals. Because Pradaxa was marketed heavily as safe and effective, doctors wrote millions of prescriptions for the new blood thinner after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in October 2010.
In 2011, however, more than 540 patients lost their lives after using Pradaxa, and thousands of other people reported suffering from serious side effects. If you or a loved one was affected by these side effects from this harmful drug, you have a right to file a Pradaxa lawsuit and seek compensation for your injuries or your loved one’s injuries or death.
Pradaxa lawsuits filed in federal court are consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois under case number 12-MD-2385. When a large number of similar cases are brought against the same defendant for similar reasons, sometimes they are consolidated into a multidistrict litigation to help expedite the process.
Status of Pradaxa Lawsuits
The person presiding over the MDL is U.S. District Court Judge David Herndon. He previously scheduled bellwether trials to begin in August 2014 but since has expedited the process. The first trials are now expected to begin in March 2014. These trials are expected to continue through 2015 and beyond, depending on the number of cases in the MDL.
In the meantime, Herndon told the Madison-St. Clair Record that “steady progress” is being made in the Pradaxa MDL. According to the judge, depositions of officials from Boehringer are scheduled to begin after attorneys from both sides finish producing “tens of thousands” of documents in the discovery phase. During the discovery phase, each side must produce records and official documents that pertain to the case. He added, “We’re really starting now to get to the meat of the litigation. The pace is picking up more.”
Bloomberg reported that legal experts expect the MDL to grow considerably, and some predict that there may be as many as 4,000 lawsuits, including those in the federal courts and also in state courts in California, Illinois, Delaware and Connecticut. The expedited trial date is good news for plaintiffs and may help resolve their claims faster and provide much needed financial relief for families struggling with mounting medical debt, lost wages and possible funeral costs.
How We Can Help
At Drugwatch, part of our mission is to provide information and support to people whose lives have been forever changed by a dangerous drug like Pradaxa. We talk daily to people who tell us how difficult it is to cope with medical problems and financial hardships without knowing where to turn. In addition to the Pradaxa resources we feature on our website, we also provide free, personal advice and support to people injured by this drug.
If you or a loved one was injured by Pradaxa, our Patient Advocates are available seven days a week to talk one-on-one and can answer your questions about bleeding issues from Pradaxa and about blood thinners.
Our advocates can also give you information to help you decide whether to pursue a legal claim. If you or a loved one would like more information on legal options, our Patient Advocates can help you find an experienced Pradaxa lawyer to walk you through the entire legal process.
Why Should You File A Pradaxa Lawsuit?
In some cases, filing a lawsuit is the only way to recoup money lost from hospital expenses, lost wages and, in the worst cases, funeral costs. Some people file Pradaxa lawsuits because they don’t want other families to suffer the way they have.
Walter Daumler of Wisconsin watched his sister, Doris, bleed to death because of Pradaxa. Daumler told The New York Times that doctors told him there was nothing they could do because there is no antidote for the hemorrhaging caused by the blood thinner. Daumler said, “My No. 1 goal is to stop this insidious drug [and] to get this off the market, so others will not undergo or witness what I saw.”
People injured by Pradaxa allege drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim willfully endangered the public through its use of deceptive marketing practices, failure to disclose risks and failure to provide adequate treatment methods for patients who experience severe bleeding events. Plaintiffs are also troubled by the fact Boehringer released the drug without an antidote.
People Who Filed Pradaxa Lawsuits
Other people have already filed lawsuits. People like Berth Bivens and Helen and John Hawkins are representative of some of the claims made against Pradaxa’s manufacturer.
Bivens filed a claim in March 2012 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee against Boehringer, alleging that Pradaxa led to the death of her mother, Nancy Brummett. The lawsuit claims that the company’s aggressive marketing did not take into account patient safety. “As a result of the defective nature of Pradaxa, persons who were prescribed and ingested Pradaxa for even a brief period of time, including Plaintiffs herein, were at increased risk for developing life-threatening bleeds,” according to the lawsuit.
In the same month, Helen and John Hawkins filed suit against Boehringer in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. Helen Hawkins began taking Pradaxa in February 2011 to treat her atrial fibrillation. In March 2011, she was hospitalized for gastrointestinal bleeding, during which she underwent a blood transfusion. The suit blames Pradaxa for “severe and life-threatening injuries.”
Some other people who filed lawsuits include:
- Roy Heady of Cookeville, TN was hospitalized for a brain hemorrhage after switching from warfarin (Coumadin) to Pradaxa.
- Charles Jackson of Nashville, TN suffered intestinal bleeding after taking Pradaxa for only three weeks.
- Harold Asher lost his wife, Barbara Jean, when she switched to Pradaxa. She was rushed to the hospital where she died because doctors couldn’t stop the Pradaxa bleed.
People injured by Pradaxa claim Boehringer Ingelheim:
- Marketed Pradaxa as safer and more convenient than warfarin, the standard blood thinning medication. In reality, studies showed that Pradaxa has the same or higher risk for bleeding events than warfarin. Also, there are antidotes for excessive bleeding suffered by warfarin patients, whereas, Pradaxa does not have an antidote.
- Misrepresented that Pradaxa was a “one-size-fits-all” drug, and did not require doctor check-ups to adjust dosage.
- Failed to adequately warn or disclose information regarding the risk of serious, excessive, uncontrollable and sometimes fatal bleeding.
- Failed to establish protocol or treatment methods for people who experience severe bleeding as a result of the drug.
- Failed to adequately research safety of the drug and establish variable factors in recommending doses of Pradaxa.
- Intentionally concealed the fact that Pradaxa was dangerous
- Failed in their duty to warn consumers
In addition, lawsuits claim that Pradaxa’s manufacturer did not adequately label the drug. Original labeling and prescribing information printed between October 2010 and March 2011 did not:
- Include adequate dosing information with respect to patient’s weight.
- Provide adequate warnings about gastrointestinal bleeding, specifically in patients with gastrointestinal issues.
- Provide adequate warnings about risk of bleeding in older patients and other at-risk populations.
- Warn that there were no established methods for treating patients who suffered from excessive bleeding.
There are thousands of others who have reported severe bleeding injuries because of Pradaxa. If you or a loved one has suffered from internal bleeding because of this drug, you may have legal options.
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