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Pradaxa Bleeding Lawsuits Can Continue Against Drug Manufacturer

Boehringer Ingelheim, maker of defective drug Pradaxa, recently tried to have the claims against it dismissed but the judge ruled against the German drug manufacturer, allowing injured victims and their families to continue to try to hold Boehringer accountable for the serious injuries and death caused by the dangerous, blood-thinning drug.

The drug manufacturer insisted, among other claims, that it adequately warned patients that Pradaxa may cause serious internal bleeding that could be fatal. But U.S. District Judge David Herndon noted that the lawsuits against Pradaxa weren't simply about the company's failure to warn of the risks of taking the blood thinner but that it created a dangerous product that had no known off switch. Once bleeding starts, little can be done to stop the anti-coagulant effects of Pradaxa.

Attorneys for Pradaxa also requested dismissal on the basis that none of the plaintiffs were still bleeding from Pradaxa use and so the claim that the defective drug causes uncontrollable bleeding is simply false. Judge Herndon also denied this as a valid basis for a dismissal in favor of the drug manufacturer. The judge called Boehringer's definition of "uncontrollable" overly narrow.

At least 27 lawsuits in 13 districts have been filed against Boehringer Ingleheim related to the serious and even fatal side effects of Pradaxa. A multi-district-litigation panel is determining whether the suits should be consolidated, but in the meantime, individual suits are being allowed to proceed.

Florida was suggested as an appropriate location for the lawsuits, along with Illinois and Ohio.

Claims against Boehringer Ingelheim include defective drug design, negligence, failure to warn of known risks, fraudulent concealment, negligent misrepresentation and violations of state consumer protection and deceptive trade practices acts.

Source: Madison Record, "Herndon denies motions to dismiss in Pradaxa cases; MDL ruling expected soon," August 2, 2012

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