Judge Reverses Jury’s $27.8M Xarelto Verdict
Tennessee physicians frequently prescribe blood thinners to help prevent blood clots in high-risk patients. Such medications can be a lifesaver, as a blood clot may lead to heart attack or stroke. But like many critical medications, blood thinners such as Xarelto carry their own side effects and potential complications. Indeed, there have been thousands of deaths and serious injuries attributed to Xarelto and other oral anticoagulants medications in recent years.
Defects in Doctor’s Testimony Cited in Judge’s Order
In December 2017, a state court jury in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, held the companies responsible for producing and marketing Xarelto were liable for the drug’s side effects. The plaintiffs are a husband and wife from Indiana. The wife suffers from an irregular heartbeat. Her doctor prescribed her Xarelto to prevent possible strokes. But after taking Xarelto for about a year, the plaintiff was “hospitalized with severe gastrointestinal bleeding,” according to court records, which she attributed to the drug.
After hearing all of the evidence, the jury agreed with the plaintiff. The jury awarded $1.8 million in damages to compensate the plaintiffs for their injuries. On top of that, the jury awarded an additional $26 million in punitive damages, which were designed to punish the defendants–Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson–for their negligence. This was believed to be the first jury award arising from Xarelto litigation in the United States.
Unfortunately, the jury did not have the final word in the case. The judge presiding over the case decided to take matters into his own hands. On January, 2018, Judge Michael Edros of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas entered a “judgment notwithstanding the verdict” in favor of Bayer and Johnson & Johnson.
A judgment notwithstanding the verdict means the judge decides that “no reasonable jury” could have reached the verdict it did. In this case, according to news reports, Judge Edros based his decision on the testimony of the plaintiff’s physician. The issue was whether the doctor would have warned the plaintiff about the risks of taking Xarelto had she performed a test to assess the plaintiff’s “coagulation levels.” The judge determined that it was “speculative” to say the doctor would have altered her diagnosis had Xarelto contained a stronger warning label.
In statements to the press, the plaintiff’s attorney said Judge Edros’ decision was based on a “narrow issue” and noted the judge said the jury’s calculation of punitive damages was “appropriate” because “sufficient evidence existed for the jury to find that the defendants acted with reckless disregard for human life.”
Speak With a Knoxville Xarelto Attorney Today
The Philadelphia case is one of thousands of Xarelto-related lawsuits pending throughout the country. In fact, a federal judge in Louisiana is expected to hold a hearing on January 30, 2018, to rule on various pretrial motions in approximately 19,000 cases consolidated before his court.
If you or a family member have suffered due to the use of Xarelto, it is important to act without delay. An experienced Clinton Xarelto lawyer can review your situation and help you determine if you have a case. Contact the offices of Fox & Farley, Attorneys at Law, at 866-862-4855 to schedule a consultation today.