Over the course of many months, counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendants worked tirelessly to identify 20 cases to be selected for the Xarelto bellwether pool. Each side was permitted to choose 10 cases for the pool, while the Court added another 20 cases that were randomly selected based on certain eligibility requirements. (See December 17, 2015, Case Management Order for eligibility requirements)
Courts often use the bellwether approach when a large number of plaintiffs are pursuing the same general theory of liability. Otherwise, it would be impossible for the various courts to handle the massive caseload. In essence, the bellwether cases act as a representative for the remaining cases in hopes of eventually reaching a global settlement.
Here, Judge Eldon Fallon, who is overseeing the federal cases in the Eastern of District of Louisiana, has advised that it is his hope that the 40 cases chosen for the bellwether pool will “mirror the census of the litigation.” Judge Eldon Fallon further noted that, from the bellwether pool, “the parties [will] drill down on those cases. They discover those cases. Those are the cases that are subjected to rigorous discovery. After that process is finished, then the bellwether cases come from those cases.” (February 23, 2016 court transcript)
Of the 40 Xarelto bellwether pool cases, 21 cases involve male Plaintiffs and 19 cases involve female Plaintiffs, which appear to be representative of the ratio of men to women involved in the litigation. Additionally, 30 of the 40 cases allege an injury between 60 and 89 years old, which also matches three quarters of the cases seen in the overall population as well.
Currently, the first two bellwether trials are scheduled to begin in early 2017 in Louisiana. The third trial will be moved to a Mississippi federal courthouse and will begin mid-to-late spring 2017, while the final scheduled trial will be moved to a Texas federal court and will begin in late spring 2017. That being said, all dates are subject to change.
The attorneys at Stark & Stark continue to pursue all legal redress available in the federal action, as well as state actions in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, for the benefit of its clients that have suffered injuries resulting from their use of Xarelto.
If you feel you have experienced any side-effects from taking Xarelto, you can contact Stark & Stark or any other experienced counsel, who can help assess any claims that you might have against the manufacturers of Xarelto.