People who suffered uncontrolled bleeding within 24 hours of ingestion requiring blood transfusion after taking the anticoagulant medication Xarelto (rivaroxaban) in Nevada may be able to sue the drug’s maker and marketer for negligence. Thousands of patients all throughout America have reported potentially life-threatening side effects, and many have turned to the courts in pursuit of hefty compensatory damages for:
- hospital bills and long-term care,
- lost earnings,
- loss of future earnings,
- pain and suffering, and/or
- wrongful death
Victims have two (2) years following the injury to bring a negligence lawsuit. The drug has been linked to other harmful side effects as well, including infection, labored breathing and blood problems.
In this article, our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys answer frequently-asked-questions about Xarelto lawsuits in Nevada, including negligence claims, standards of proof, and statutes of limitations. Click on a topic to jump to that section:
- 1. Injuries
- 2. What money can I get?
- 3. Whom can I sue?
- 4. How do I prove a Xarelto claim in Las Vegas, NV?
- 5. When can I sue?
- 6. Should I file my lawsuit in Nevada or join a federal class action?
- 7. What is Xarelto used for?
- 8. Has Xarelto been recalled?
- 9. Resources
- 10. Related “mass tort” drug litigation in Nevada
Patients who experienced uncontrolled bleeding from taking Xarelto may be able to sue the drug’s manufacturer and marketer for negligence. In order to prevail on a negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff (victim) has the burden to prove the following four elements:
- The defendant(s) owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The defendant(s) breached this duty;
- This breach caused the plaintiff’s injury; and
- This injury resulted in damages.1
A negligence lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer and marketer would likely allege the following:
- The defendants failed in their duty to inform doctors and patients that irreversible internal bleeding–a life-threatening-risk–is a possible side effect of the drug.
- The defendants concealed their knowledge of how the drug can cause excessive bleeding and did not provide an adequate warning to the medical community.
- The defendants knew of the drug’s grave risks and therefore should not have touted Xarelto as a better alternative to other blood thinners when Xarelto carried the risk of possibly fatal hemorrhaging, often right after surgery.
- The defendants marketed the drug prior to conducting clinical trials on how it affected the body.
- The defendants’ deception was fueled by their desire to make sales.
- The defendants did not inform doctors how to care for patients who experienced Xarelto’s severe side effects
Therefore, plaintiffs would argue that these breaches led to plaintiffs making an uninformed decision to take the drug, which in turn caused them uncontrolled bleeding.
Uncontrolled bleeding within 24 hours of ingestion requiring blood transfusion is the gravest potential side effect of taking Xarelto, particularly severe gastrointestinal bleeding anywhere in the digestive tract (from the stomach or upper intestine to the colon or anus). And patients suffering from severe pulmonary arterial hypertension face a higher risk of internal bleeding.
There is no cure to stop the uncontrolled bleeding, though emergency dialysis may help. And in many cases it takes considerable time to detect uncontrolled bleeding, so the patient may need blood transfusions and other procedures by the time doctors become aware of the hemorrhage.
In addition to a possibly fatal hemorrhage, Xarelto may cause the following side effects, injuries and complications:
- pulmonary embolism,
- blood clots in the lung,
- peripheral edema (leg swelling),
- dyspnea (trouble breathing),
- bladder and bowel dysfunction,
- bloody feces or urine,
- tarry stools,
- lower hemoglobin levels,
- back pain,
- swollen or bloody gums,
- hematoma, and/or
- infection (following a knee or hip replacement).2
Medication exists that may be equally as effective as Xarelto but without risking possibly fatal, uncontrollable blood loss. Arguably, using Xarelto without regular screenings and the ability to adjust dosages accordingly may be unreasonably dangerous.
A Xarelto lawsuit should seek compensatory damages for:
- Medical bills related to drug injuries (such as hospital stays, operations, rehabilitation, and outpatient care),
- Pain and suffering arising from drug injuries,
- Lost wages, and/or
- Loss of future earnings
Depending on the case, the patient can also seek to recover punitive damages. Punitive damages are often much larger than compensatory damages.
In order to prevail in a Nevada negligence case, the plaintiff has the show that it is more likely than not that the defendant was negligent. In legal terms, the plaintiff has the burden to prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” that the defendant committed negligence. Common evidence in drug cases include:
- The plaintiff’s medical records, showing the internal bleeding
- Expert medical testimony, linking the plaintiff’s Xarelto use to the bleeding
- Marketing materials that show the defendants failed to warn about uncontrolled internal bleeding as a possible side effect
Learn more about proving negligence in Nevada.
Victims have two (2) years after they suffer uncontrolled bleeding from Xarelto to sue for negligence. But even if more than two years have already passed, victims are encouraged to consult with an attorney–perhaps litigation may still be available.3
In general, drug litigation is not pursued through class action. Instead, these cases are joined together in “multi-district litigation” (MDL). MDL is a legal mechanism where one court decides preliminary matters for all the drug cases at once. Then once those matters are decided, the cases get transferred back to their original courts to continue as an individual case. Much of the time, the lawsuit will settle during the MDL phase.
Currently, the Xarelto MDL case is IN RE. Xarelto Products Liability Litigation (MDL no. 2593) out of Louisiana. There is also a mass tort litigation out of Philadelphia. And in 2017, a jury awarded plaintiff Lynn Hartman $27.8 million to be paid by defendants Johnson & Johnson and Bayer. Lynn Hartman reportedly experienced gastrointestinal bleeding as a result of taking the drug. Only $1.8 million of the award was for compensatory damages…the rest was punitive damages to “punish” the manufacturer. However, the trial judge set aside the verdict…
In April of 2018, a Philadelphia jury handed a victory to Bayer and Janssen Pharmaceuticals by finding that Xarelto’s label adequately warned patients about the danger of severe bleeds. This and similar cases indicate that Xarelto vicitms are more likely to be victorious if they suffered a bleeding event within 24 hours of ingestion requiring blood transfusion.4
Every case is different and commands its own defense strategy. A Nevada personal injury attorney would talk with a drug victim about all the different options for pursuing a lawsuit, and which options best align with the victim’s needs and goals.
FDA-approved in 2011, Xarelto is a blood thinner prescribed to treat and prevent blood clots in patients diagnosed with either:
- a stroke;
- blood clots like DVT (deep vein thrombosis);
- lung blood clots (pulmonary embolism); or
- atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat)
The drug is also given to patients following knee or hip replacement surgery. Prior to Xarelto, doctors relied on warfarin (Coumadin).5
In healthy bodies, people form blood clots naturally in reaction to an injury so they do not bleed out. But people who form blood clots abnormally run the risk of the clots traveling throughout the body and getting lodged in an area that disrupts the person’s normal processes. Xarelto is an option for thinning the blood in order to dematerialize the clot(s).
No. Though the FDA in 2013 wrote a warning letter claiming that Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Healthcare did not property admonish patients and physicians about the drug’s side effects.6
Helpful articles and information pages include:
- FDA – Guide to Xarelto
- Market Insider – Adverse Effects of Xarelto
- British Medical Journal – Xarelto versus Warfarin
Drugs that the pharmaceutical industry markets as game-changers sometimes greatly diminish patients’ quality of life and may even be life-threatening. For information on how to file lawsuits against drug companies and marketers, read our informational articles:
- Abilify lawsuits in Nevada
- Taxotere lawsuits
- Viberzi lawsuits in Nevada
- Testosterone lawsuits in Nevada
- Invokana lawsuits in Nevada
- Talc lawsuits in Nevada
- Opioid lawsuits in Nevada
- Risperdal lawsuits in Nevada
- Concerta lawsuits in Nevada
Call a Nevada personal injury attorney…
Have you been hurt? Our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys may be able to win you a substantial financial settlement to cover your expenses. Contact us for a FREE consultation. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, you pay us nothing unless we win.
- See, e.g. Scialabba v. Brandise Const. Co., 112 Nev. 965, 921 P.2d 928 (1996).
- FDA – Information.
- NRS 11.190.
- Jury orders Bayer, J&J to pay $28 million in Xarelto lawsuit, Reuters (December 5, 2017); Max Mitchell, Philadelphia Jury Hands Defense Win in Trial Over Xarelto, The Legal Intelligencer (April 27, 2018).
- Xarelto official site.
- FDA warning letter.