A Pennsylvania State judge has reversed the first Xarelto trial plaintiff win, overturning a $28 million judgment.

Laboratory Worker

The first verdict against Bayer and Johnson & Johnson in the massive Xarelto litigation has been overturned by a Pennsylvania State court judge, Reuters reports.

$28M Xarelto Jury Verdict Reversed In Pennsylvania

After three defense victories in federal courts across the county, a couple from Indiana was awarded $28 million in compensation over claims that the popular blood thinner had caused severe gastrointestinal bleeding. The plaintiffs' win, rendered on December 5, 2017, was short-lived, however. On Tuesday, January 9, 2018, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Erdos reversed the jury's verdict, entering a judgment that no reasonable jury presented with identical evidence could have reached the same conclusion.

Doctor's Testimony Isn't Enough To Show Liability, Judge Rules

In his order, Judge Erdos deemed the punitive damages award "appropriate" based on the evidence, according to a plaintiffs' attorney who spoke with the Legal Intelligencer. The victim and her husband had been awarded $1.8 million in compensatory damages and $26 million in punitive damages. Plaintiffs' counsel believe the punitive damages award alone will have wide-ranging effects on the Xarelto litigation. But a "narrow issue," the lawyer continued, fell below muster in the Court's opinion.

The testimony of Dr. Josephine Randazzo, the patient's prescribing physician, was insufficient to establish that Xarelto's manufacturers had failed to require a coagulation test prior to the drug's prescription, the Judge says. Attorneys had argued at trial that, if Dr. Randazzo had been required to order a prothombin test to evaluate the patient's blood, their client would never have chosen to take Xarelto. Judge Erdos found that argument "speculative" at best.

The Court found no evidence in Dr. Randazzo's testimony to suggest that the physician would have been more likely to consult the patient on increased risk information had she performed a prothombin test.

21,000+ Xarelto Lawsuits Filed Nationwide

Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have already expressed their satisfaction with Judge Erdos' opinion. "Today's ruling and the defense verdicts in the first three federal court trials," a Bayer spokesman said, "support both the safety and efficacy of Xarelto and that its [FDA]-approved label contains accurate, science-based information on the benefits and risks of this life-saving medicine."

About 21,400 Xarelto lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer. A portion of the litigation, about 1,400 cases, have been coordinated in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

The Legal Herald

About Laurence Banville

Attorney Contributor:

Laurence P. Banville, Esq. is the managing partner of Banville Law. He is a regular contributor on several topics including negligent security cases, child sexual abuse and Dram Shop and liquor liability cases.

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