Tag Archive for Class Action Lawsuits

Eliquis Leads to Deaths and Possible MDL Class Action Lawsuits

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Eliquis (Apixaban) is an oral anticoagulant made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer. The blood thinning medication was first put on the market in 2012 in Europe, and was later approved by the FDA in the United States in 2014.  Before Eliquis was deemed safe enough to prescribe to patients, the drug went through a clinical trial under the name of ARISTOTLE. According to various news outlets, trial agents buried crucial information linked to the study from the FDA, like adverse side effects that transpired during the trial. Side effects included severe internal bleeding to subjects using the medication, and it was also noted that a death went unreported during the trial as well.

Eliquis proved to be more harmful than beneficial, but the drug went on the market nonetheless as Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Pfizer hid critical data about the adverse effects Eliquis had on its subjects during the trial.

The drug has only recently gained attention as a dangerous anticoagulant with two wrongful death claims reported within the past two years.

Other blood thinning medications like Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) and Pradaxa (Dabigatran) have caused problems and complications for patients before Eliquis was produced and manufactured.

Boehringer Ingelheim, Pradaxa’s manufacturer, paid $650 million dollars in 2014 to settle 4,000 state and federal lawsuits over their blood thinner Pradaxa.

It wasn’t until 2015 that a medication named Praxbind (Idarucizumab) was created to reverse the side effects associated with Pradaxa. And even so, Praxbind surfaced on the market too late as thousands of wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against Boehringer Ingelheim since 2012.

The recent lawsuits claims against Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Pfizer are centered on patients who have died from internal bleeding using Eliquis. A complaint was filed by Deborah Herschell for her husband’s death in June 2015. And in June of this year, another complaint was filed by Kathleen Odum for her father’s death in June 2014. Mr. Donald Herschell and Mr. Oliver Becker suffered from irregular heartbeat, or what is also known as atrial fibrillation (AFib). What both of these deaths have in common is that they were potentially caused by Eliquis.

What is AFib?

AFib is caused by an irregular, rapid heart rate that may cause poor blood flow to those who are diagnosed with the medical condition. Other symptoms of AFib include, but are not limited to:

  • Palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular blood supply
  • Blood clotting
  • Stroke
  • Heart Failure

Anticoagulants are therefore commonly prescribed to patients who suffer from AFib; they’re also prescribed to patients who undergo hip or knee replacement surgery to prevent blood clots from forming.

It’s unfortunate that these pharmaceutical corporations have failed to take responsibility for the health complications caused by the medications they supply. But there are many law firms willing to take on class action suits against Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Pfizer for their defected blood thinner medication, Eliquis. And while there aren’t enough Eliquis lawsuits for the courts to merge them into a multi-district litigation (MDL) just yet, plaintiffs’ lawyers expect more Eliquis claims to be filed across the country as the side effects of the drug worsen in patients.

Civil Lawsuits Are Dropping Across The Country

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According to the Court Statistics Project, civil lawsuits are dropping across the country. The Illinois Trial Lawyer Association cited that statistic as well as another statistic  specifically focusing on the the drop of civil lawsuits in Illinois. The statistics are between the years 2010-2014. Some of the eye popping stats are tort cases dropping seven percent nationwide. Tort filings dropped 25 percent in the last decade. In Illinois, the number of civil cases dropped 33 percent between 2010 and 2014.

Civil lawsuits are ways the general public can remedy a wrong through the legal system. Class action lawsuits regarding pharmaceuticals, dangerous products, even the water we drink have all been improved by the actions some people take in court. It’s a bad sign if civil lawsuits are dropping because it could be mean people are not pursuing legal remedies for issues they are facing. But, there could be a lot of reasons why the lawsuits are dropping perhaps the cases are weak, the cost of litigation is too high, the plaintiffs have not found willing plaintiffs’ attorneys that are going to take the case. Whatever the situation, if this trend continues it could embolden defendants to do or continue bad actions because they know they will not suffer the consequences.

In addition to making a complaint public, civil lawsuits serve a purpose as part of the legal process to remedy a wrong and be compensated for suffering. They also serve as warnings to other companies engaged in similar actions that they may face the possibility of lawsuit. Civil lawsuits is a vital part of the legal ecosystem and for that system to work, it has to maintain its importance in that system.