The Legal Intelligencer
Case filings are gradually increasing in the Xarelto blood-thinner litigation, the Philadelphia court system’s newest mass tort.
According to Complex Litigation Center director Stanley Thompson, there are roughly 170 Xarelto cases filed in Philadelphia. The mass tort was established early this year, on Jan. 21, by order of the center’s coordinating judge, Arnold L. New.
The plaintiffs claim Xarelto causes uncontrollable and sometimes fatal bleeding in patients. Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals are the defendants in the litigation.
Since the city’s first Xarelto case was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in February 2014, Thompson said, the numbers have been steadily rising.
There is a lot of interest in Xarelto nationally and in Philadelphia.Daniel Gallucci
From March to October 2014, only a handful of cases were filed each month, the most being five in September. But in November 2014, the number spiked with 19 new cases filed. In December, 26 cases were filed, followed by 17 in January 2015, 37 in February and 50 in March.
Michael M. Weinkowitz of Levin, Fishbein, Sedran & Berman, one of the firms representing the plaintiffs, said the current volume of cases is on par with his expectations, although he was unsure whether the mass tort would begin to grow at a higher rate.
“I know there are a number of people out there that are holding back cases, sort of waiting to see where we go and where the MDL goes,” Weinkowitz said.
The multidistrict litigation, also established in January, is under way in Louisiana federal court before U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the Eastern District of Louisiana.
“There is a lot of interest in Xarelto nationally and in Philadelphia,” said Daniel Gallucci of NastLaw.
Gallucci, who represents several plaintiffs in the litigation, said since the mass tort is relatively young and there are no statute of limitations issues, each case can be more thoroughly examined.
“Xarelto, I think, is one of these cases where we have more time to vet them and screen them,” Gallucci said. “I don’t think there’s a rush to the courthouse so to speak.”