During the monthly status conference on January 30, 2018, US District Court Judge Eldon Fallon stated he needs to get an end game on the MDL, implying he wants to push both sides toward a resolution. He also discussed the need to resolve ongoing discovery issues in some cases, to avoid excessive costs.
Meanwhile, Common Pleas Judge Michael Erdos threw out a recent $28-plus-Million jury verdict that was awarded a Xarelto claimant in December. On December 5, 2017, a Philadelphia jury found the manufacturers of Xarelto responsible for Ms. Hartman’s Xarelto-related injury. As a result, the jury awarded Ms. Hartman $27.8 million in damages; $1.8 million for compensatory damages and $26 million in punitive damages. This was the fourth bellwether trial in the Xarelto litigation and the first win for the plaintiffs. However, January 9th, Judge Erdos reversed that decision “based on a very narrow issue related to Mrs. Hartman’s prescribing physician,” said Hartman’s attorney, Michael Weinkowitz. Weinkowitz filed an appeal on that reversal January 30, 2018.
While that appeal is in process and Judge Fallon seems to be seeking an end in the Federal MDL in New Orleans, there are back to back trials being set in Philadelphia. There are three trial dates set so far: March 19th, April 16th, and June 11, 2018. There are more than 21,000 cases currently filed in the Xarelto MDL with an average of 450 new filings each month.