Thousands of lawsuits against Xarelto – the anticoagulant manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Bayer – have been filed in various district courts since 2014. Over 2000 total cases are now awaiting proceedings – 1698 federal lawsuits in a Louisiana MDL and over 400 state lawsuits in a Philadelphia mass tort.
Trial dates for the first several bellweather trials have now been set. The first bellweather trial will take place on February 6, 2017. Other trials are scheduled for March, April and May of that year. The number of claims being filed against Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (the company that markets the drug) continues to grow – from cases of uncontrolled bleeding to stroke.
A bellweather trial is a type of test case in tort law. It is the first few trials that go to jury and which allow the parties involved to test their arguments. The bellweather cases are usually made up of cases that seem to be representative of the various other similar cases.
If defenants in the case (in this case Bayer and J&J’s Janssen Pharma) lose the bellweather trials, they may move to settle a large number of other cases before going to a jury. While the trial dates of the initial trials have been set, more and more cases continue to pile up against the makers of Xarelto. There is no telling how high the final number of cases will be.