A Philadelphia jury has just awarded $27.8 million to a woman who claimed to have been injured by the blood-thinning drug Xarelto. The verdict marketed the first court loss over the drug for Johnson & Johnson and Bayer A.G., who are currently facing thousands of Xarelto lawsuit plaintiffs with similar complaints.
Hospitalized for Gastrointestinal Bleeding
In 2014, 75-year-old Lynn Hartman was hospitalized for gastrointestinal bleeding. She blamed her condition on the drug Xarelto, sold by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, which she had been taking for more than a year by that time.
According to her Xarelto lawsuit, Ms. Hartman required four blood transfusions to counteract the drug’s bleeding-out effects, which caused her substantial pain and worry. She reportedly has not had similar problems since switching to a different blood thinner.
Over 20,000 Xarelto Lawsuits
Ms. Hartman is apparently not alone in her complaints about Xarelto. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the popular drug has been linked to at least 370 deaths in which physicians failed to stop their patients’ internal bleeding.
More than 20,000 lawsuits have been filed so far against Bayer A.G. and Johnson & Johnson over the drug, with the number of suits having grown by 27 percent just this year. The lawsuits allege that the companies knew about and attempted to hide the potentially dangerous side effects of Xarelto, causing severe damage to unknowing patients who may have otherwise avoided the drug.
The drug is Bayer A.G.’s top-selling product, having generated $3.2 billion dollars for the German company in 2016, and the third largest seller for New Jersey’s Johnson & Johnson, with reported sales last year of $2.3 billion.
First Xarelto Lawsuit Plaintiff Victory
Both companies insist that Xarelto is safe and effective and argue that its labeling “has always warned of bleeding events” and provided the necessary information for doctors to make “proper treatment decisions.” They have announced that they will appeal this verdict, which awarded Ms. Hartman $1.8 million in actual damages and $26 million in punitive damages.
Ms. Hartman’s case represented the companies’ first loss at trial over the drug. Prior to this verdict, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer A.G. had won three other Xarelto cases in federal courts in Louisiana and Mississippi.