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Federal Judge in NY Tosses Eliquis Lawsuits


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Judge holding documents with gavel on desk

A federal judge in Manhattan has pulled the plug on lawsuits blaming the blood thinner Eliquis for life-threatening complications in patients.

U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote dismissed more than 50 lawsuits, effectively collapsing the Multi-District Litigation centering on the drug marketed by Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb.

The dismissals ordered on November 27, 28 and 29, 2017, cite a ruling Cote issued in May.

In that ruling, the judge made a number of findings, concluding that the warnings on Eliquis’ label were sufficient and that claims against the drug makers were preempted by federal law, specifically regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Eliquis Warnings Cited

“The Eliquis label warns about the risk of serious bleeding no less than five times,” Cote noted in her ruling in the case of Charlie and Ciara Utts, a California couple who had sued because of Charlie Utts’ severe gastrointestinal bleeding they said was caused by the drug.

The Uttses had contended in their pleadings that the labels on the drug should have had more detailed information, particularly saying that dosing should be determined individually to reduce the risk of severe bleeding. They also maintained that people who take the drug should have to be monitored regularly.

Although plaintiffs cite the fact that there is no antidote to Eliquis when problems arise, Cote observed in the Utts case that “the Eliquis label twice warns about the fact that there is no specific antidote to Eliquis.”

The latest dismissals involve lawsuits that were filed in Delaware after the Utts ruling was issued. Cote said the injured parties failed to demonstrate why their cases were different than the Utts case to allow them to proceed because of differences in the laws in the states where the plaintiffs resided.

Elaine Silvestrini
Written By Elaine Silvestrini Writer

Elaine Silvestrini is an award-winning journalist with 30 years of experience covering state and federal court systems. She joined Drugwatch in 2017. Her coverage for Drugwatch has been cited in the CDC’s Public Health Law News and the USA Today Network. Some of her qualifications include:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention certificates in Health Literacy
  • Experience as an assistant investigator for the Federal Public Defender
  • Loyola Law School Journalist Law School Fellowship
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4 Cited Research Articles writers follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, court records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and interviews with qualified experts. Review our editorial policy to learn more about our process for producing accurate, current and balanced content.

  1. Charlie Utts, et al v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company et al. (2017, May 8). U.S. District Court Southern District of New York. Case No. 16-cv-5668 Opinion and Order. Retrieved from:
  2. In re: Eliquis (Apixaban) Products Liability Litigation. (2017, November 27). Order. U.S. District Court Southern District of New York. Case No. 1:17-md-02754. Retrieved from:
  3. In re: Eliquis (Apixaban) Products Liability Litigation. (2017, November 28). Order. U.S. District Court Southern District of New York. Case No. 1:17-md-02754. Retrieved from:
  4. In re: Eliquis (Apixaban) Products Liability Litigation. (2017, November 29). Memorandum Opinion and Order. U.S. District Court Southern District of New York. Case No. 1:17-md-02754. Retrieved from:
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