Two major drug manufacturers agreed recently to pay $775 million to settle over 25,000 lawsuits filed with respect to the drug Xarelto. As previous posts here have discussed, the drug was supposed to prevent blood clotting. However, it wound up carrying with it the risk of severe and potentially fatal side effects, including significant and uncontrollable bleeding.
The announced settlement will resolve a large multidistrict litigation case before the nation's federal courts. A federal court in another state is supervising the litigation and is now working on the details of how these settlement funds will get paid out to individual claimants.
At this time, the plan is for the court to appoint special officers to handle the influx of filings from those who claim to have been affected adversely by the drug. According to attorneys involved with the settlement, those who filed claims after December of 2015, as well as those allegedly injured after March of 2016, will get a significantly smaller share of the overall recovery than will other claimants.
This settlement may put to rest this medical product liability case that has attracted the attention of the national news media. Aside from its size, one interesting thing about this case is that Xarelto was an aggressively marketed drug, even securing endorsements from several celebrities. The manufacturers continue to deny liability and describe their settlement as a prudent thing to do to resolve otherwise costly litigation. The plaintiffs consistently maintained during the litigation that the manufacturers simply failed to warn consumers of the risks associated with the drug.
In this respect, residents of Northern Georgia should remember that pharmaceutical companies must fully and accurately advise would-be consumers of any risks associated with their products. If they do not, victims may be eligible to receive compensation.