Potential Consolidation of Pradaxa Lawsuits

New York, New York”June 25, 2012”Federal lawsuits against Pradaxa
manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals may soon be consolidated for
pretrial purposes before a single federal court. Plaintiffs who have allegedly
suffered a Pradaxa side effects injury such as severe bleeding and hemorrhaging
and even death may be eligible to pursue a Pradaxa lawsuit. Those cases that are
already proceeding in federal courts around the nation share many similarities,
which would make consolidation suitable for increasing efficiency and decreasing
the risk of duplicative discovery and inconsistent rulings.

The FDA approved Pradaxa in October 2010 for the treatment of atrial
fibrillation. The drug is an anti-coagulant (blood thinner) that reduces the
risk of blood clots and stroke. On December 7, 2011, however, the FDA announced
that it was looking into post-marketing reports of severe Pradaxa side effects,
including dangerous bleeding, to determine whether these effects are occurring
more commonly than would be expected. Though all anti-coagulant medications
carry a risk of serious bleeding, reports and studies indicate that the risk may
be higher with Pradaxa than with the established blood-thinning drug, warfarin.
In addition, unlike warfarin bleeding, which can be reversed with vitamin K
injections, Pradaxa bleeding has no readily available antidote, making the risks
more serious and potentially deadly.

Plaintiff Vera Lee Sellers filed a Pradaxa lawsuit in the Southern District
of Illinois on May 14, 2012. Represented by her Pradaxa lawyer, she moved the
U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) for an order transferring
the currently filed cases, as well as any future “tag along” cases, to the same
Illinois court for consolidated pretrial proceedings. In her motion, Sellers
notes that transfer is necessary because 1) each Pradaxa lawsuit makes numerous
claims against Boehringer Ingelheim, including failure to warn and design defect
claims, 2) there are currently 21 actions pending in 12 district courts with
similar claims, with more than 500 additional complaints anticipated to be filed
in the future, 3) each case involves similar questions of fact and law, 4)
discovery will be similar, and 5) no discovery has started yet in any of the

In response, the JPML has added consideration of the motion to the agenda for
their July 26, 2012 hearing session. In the meantime, those patients who have
suffered a Pradaxa injury are encouraged to report it to the FDA. In the last
three months of 2011 alone, the agency received 3,000 such reports, with nearly
500 Pradaxa deaths reported. Centralizing each Pradaxa lawsuit into one court
will likely help expedite discovery, reduce costs for all parties involved, and
increase convenience for witnesses and both parties.