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Plaintiff’s Grandmother Was Found Dead After Taking Xarelto

Lafayette, LAAshlie Fluitt’s beloved grandmother Hattie Deville-Goodwin was prescribed Xarelto for treatment of deep vein thrombosis in her leg. Deep vein thrombosis, commonly known in layman’s terms as a blood clot, is in itself a serious condition and is usually treated through the employment of blood thinners. However, the choice of blood thinner in this case may have hastened Hattie’s demise: within three months Hattie was dead, allegedly from a Xarelto Bleeding Issue.

Her granddaughter has filed a Xarelto lawsuit, alleging wrongful death. The Case is Ashlie Fluitt v. Janssen Research & Development LLC et al, Case No. 2:15-cv-05874, filed November 12 in US District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana.

Xarelto is part of a next-generation series of blood thinners designed to do away with the constant monitoring that is required of the previous gold standard for blood thinners, Coumadin. The latter required constant screening of diet and other factors to ensure all was in balance to ward against a bleeding event. Doctors and their patients have, for years, been pleading for an alternative that required less monitoring.

When Xarelto became available (and Pradaxa before it), the health care community embraced it in droves.

However, the one issue that is serving to fuel the majority of Xarelto lawsuits is the lack of a reversing agent should a Xarelto Bleedout occur. With Coumadin (warfarin), an infusion of vitamin K would quickly act to reverse the thinning properties of blood, helping it to clot more easily and help stem a hemorrhage.

Xarelto was released to the market without benefit of an antidote, and thus without an important implement in the doctor’s tool belt in the event of unforeseen Xarelto bleeding complications.

That’s what happened to Deville-Goodman. After developing a severe Xarelto Bleedout in the brain, her doctors did not have benefit of a vitamin K reversing agent to help stem the bleeding event, and Deville-Goodman died a Xarelto Death.

In her Xarelto Lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Fluitt accuses Xarelto manufacturers Bayer and Johnson & Johnson (among other defendants) of failure to warn about the risks associated with Xarelto over more traditional anticoagulants like Coumadin.

Previous lawsuits have also asserted that the manufacturers of Xarelto have been irresponsible in marketing Xarelto as not requiring stringent monitoring when – in fact – such monitoring is made all the more feasible and necessary without a ready antidote available.

At the moment, the case load is almost at 3,000, with 2,400 lawsuits consolidated in multidistrict litigation in Louisiana and another 500 state lawsuits within a mass tort in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, four bellwether lawsuits are scheduled a little more than a year from now, in the spring of 2017.

Credit: Gordon Gibb, Lawyers & Settlements


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