Months After Pradaxa Settlement Announcement, Thousands of Cases Still Pending

Despite the May announcement of a $650 million settlement in thousands of lawsuits against the manufacturer of Pradaxa, few of the lawsuits have so far been resolved.

More than 2,400 federal lawsuits are still pending against Boehringer Ingelheim, the German manufacturer of Pradaxa, according to a recent report of a federal panel.

Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) is a blood-thinning drug prescribed to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in patients with atrial fibrillation. Thousands of federal and state lawsuits accuse the manufacturer of failing to warn the public of the danger of irreversible internal bleeding, which has been linked to more than one thousand deaths.

According to an Aug. 15 statistical report from the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, 2,479 federal Pradaxa cases are still pending before Judge David Herndon in the Southern District of Illinois. The report says the MDL has included a total of 2,578 cases, which means that only 99 of the federal lawsuits have so far been resolved through settlement or other means.

In May, Boehringer Ingelheim announced that it would pay up to $650 million to settle all 4,000 federal and state lawsuits which were pending at that time. In addition to the 2,400+ federal cases, hundreds of additional lawsuits were pending in California, Connecticut, Delaware and Missouri.

After the settlement announcement, is it too late for a Pradaxa patient or a loved one to file a lawsuit over a life-threatening incidence of internal bleeding? The short answer is, No. Although the statute of limitations is always a consideration in any lawsuit, the May settlement announcement does nothing to preclude new legal actions against Boehringer Ingelheim. Also, it is up to each of the 4,000 federal and state plaintiffs to decide whether to accept the Boehringer Ingelheim settlement offer.

Pradaxa was approved by the FDA in October 2010 for use in the U.S. in October 2010. Since then, the FDA has received thousands of reports of internal bleeding, including gastrointestinal bleeding and cerebral hemorrhages, in Pradaxa patients. The FDA “adverse effects” reports include more than one thousand patients who have reportedly died from the bleeding events.

Pradaxa is marketed as a convenient replacement for warfarin (Coumadin). Warfarin has been used as an anticoagulant for more than 50 years and continues to be popular today. A patient using warfarin must submit to frequent blood monitoring to make sure one’s blood is not too thin. Pradaxa does not require such testing and is therefore marketed as a convenient alternative. However, the lack of a reversal agent, which could make all the difference in the event of a life-threatening hemorrhage, raises  serious questions about Pradaxa’s use. Warfarin’s anti-clotting effect can be quickly reversed with Vitamin K.

For more information about Pradaxa and Pradaxa litigation, see our webpage: “Pradaxa Use Can Lead to Severe, Irreversible, Sometimes Fatal Bleeding.”

If you or a loved one has experienced an internal bleeding event after using Pradaxa, contact Hasbrook & Hasbrook for a free consultation about your legal rights. You may contact us by telephone (866-416-4737), email (cth@hasbrooklaw.com) or use our website contact form: Contact Us.