By David Carnes, Staff Writer
Xarelto is a pharmaceutical that is most often used for its function as an anticoagulant, or blood thinner. Unfortunately, the use of Xarelto has been linked to a number of dangerous medical conditions and it has been the subject of numerous lawsuits. If you or your loved one has been harmed by using Xarelto, you may need to file a product liability claim to receive compensation for your losses.
The Dangers of Xarelto
Xarelto is used to prevent blood clots in patients recovering from knee and hip replacement surgery, irregular heartbeat and blood clots in the lungs, among other conditions. Because Xarelto thins the blood (making blood more difficult to coagulate), the use of Xarelto can result in profuse bleeding, both externally and internally. Unfortunately, patients who take Xarelto usually do so because of an increased risk of blood clotting. If the patient is taken off Xarelto early due to severe bleeding or other medical problems, the patient may suffer the opposite problem — blood clots may form due to the lack of blood thinner. Some of the most common medical conditions associated with the use of Xarelto include:
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Heart attacks
- Pulmonary embolism
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the leg)
- Epidural and spinal hematoma (internal bleeding)
Thousands of people have been harmed by Xarelto and hundreds have died. Most of the deaths are the result of uncontrolled bleeding. This has resulted in a multitude of lawsuits filed in various states. Most of these lawsuits are product liability lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of Xarelto, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen division. Product liability lawsuits come in two forms – personal injury lawsuits filed by the victims themselves, and wrongful death lawsuits filed by relatives of deceased victims (or, in some states, the executor of the victim’s estate). Six and seven-figure recoveries are not uncommon in either of these two types of lawsuits.
Product Liability Law
Although product liability law varies slightly from state to state, the basics are similar in every state. Product liability lawsuits allege that the product at issue is defective and unreasonably dangerous. Three types of defects are recognized under product liability law – design defects, manufacturing defects and “warning defects” (failure to warn of substantial dangers of using the product). Not just any danger can support a product liability lawsuit – the danger must be “unreasonable”, which generally means that a feasible, safer alternative is available.
Once you have established that the product is defective and unreasonably dangerous, however, you don’t need to show any fault on the part of the actual defendant. You might sue a retail distributor of Xarelto, for example, alleging that the product was defectively designed. You can win the lawsuit even if the defendant had no part in designing the product, although the defendant can claim against the manufacturer to reimburse whatever the retailer had to pay you in damages.
Proving that a pharmaceutical product is defective and unreasonably dangerous can be a complex undertaking, and the process is best guided by an experienced product liability lawyer.