The Louisiana Record Apr. 21, 2016, 7:34pm


NEW ORLEANS – An estate administrator alleges a drug used to decrease the risk of pulmonary embolism led to injuries that caused an Alabama woman's death.

Clarence E. Perkins, on behalf of the estate of Opal L. Perkins, filed a complaint on April 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against Janssen Research & Development LLC, Janssen Ortho LLL, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Johnson & Johnson Co., Bayer Pharma AG, Bayer Corp., Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., Bayer Healthcare AG and Bayer AG, et al. alleging that they negligently and/or fraudulently represented Xarelto to the medical and health care community.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that between September 2013 and April 2014, decedent Opal Perkins was prescribed to use Xarelto to reduce the risk of pulmonary embolisms due to atrial fibrillation. The suit states that the decedent began experiencing symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding on Feb. 11, 2014, and on or about April 2014 she was diagnosed with anemia requiring blood transfusion, and was caused to sustain severe and permanent personal injuries, resulting to her death. The injuries and damages sustained by decedent were caused by defendants’ Xarelto, the plaintiff alleges.

The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible because the defendants allegedly designed, researched, manufactured, tested, advertised, promoted, marketed distributed and sold Xarelto. They allegedly also failed to properly investigate, research, study and define, fully and adequately, the safety profile of Xarelto; failed to adequately test Xarelto; failed to provide adequate warnings; failed to disclose the need for dose adjustments; failed to provide adequate instructions and failed to warn the medical professionals that there is no effective agent to reverse effects of Xarelto.

A spokesperson for Janssen issued this statement in response to the lawsuit:

"Xarelto is an important anticoagulant used to treat and reduce the risk of life-threatening blood clots. After more than three years on the U.S. market, and more than 3 million patients prescribed in the U.S. to date, the benefit-risk profile of Xarelto remains favorable and consistent with clinical trials. All anticoagulants, or blood thinners, carry the risk of bleeding, and the prescribing information for Xarelto has always warned of these risks. Blood thinners are important and potentially life-saving medicines that should be taken by patients as prescribed and should not be discontinued without a discussion with a physician. We will continue to defend against the claims raised in this litigation."

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensation for past and future damages, punitive and/or exemplary damages, reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs and any further relief as the court may deem just and proper. He is represented by Alexandra W. Robertson, Lisa Ann Gorshe and Michael K. Johnson of Johnson Becker PLLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana Case number 2:16-cv-02810

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U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
500 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70113

Bayer Corporation
100 Bayer Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15205

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