NEW ORLEANS –The sister of a man who had a heart condition is suing his pharmaceutical company for providing a drug she believes led to his death.

Rita Crew Condron, as the designated beneficiary of all claims arising out of the death of her brother, John M. Crew filed suit against Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on Jan. 3.

Condron claims that on Oct. 1, 20111, her brother was prescribed Pradaxa in the dose of 150 mg twice daily, for the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Crew had been using Warfarin, which like Pradaxa, is an anti-coagulant intended to prevent patients like John M. Crew from developing blood clots and strokes associated with atrial fibrillation. On Jan. 5, 2013, Crew visited the emergency room and passed away after his bleeding could not be controlled.

Condron asserts her brother John M. Crew’s death was caused by Pradaxa and accuses the defendants of selling a defective drug. Condron also accuses the defendants of failing to provide warning to the patient and to his health care provider about the dangers of Pradaxa, and misrepresenting the drug’s safety.  Because Pradaxa is anti-coagulation drug, it caused Crew’s death by uncontrollable bleeding. There is no known medication that can counteract Pradaxa’s coagulation effect, and there is not currently a test in existence to determine the level of Pradaxa in the body. The defendants knew the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding is greater with the use of Pradaxa as compared to Warfarin, and continued to advocate Pradaxa as a more effective medicine than Warfarin for patients like Crew, the lawsuit claims.

The plaintiff is seeking unspecified damages for John M. Crew’s medical expenses, pain, suffering, and mental anguish, fear of death, economic loss, loss of life enjoyment and funeral costs. Condron additionally seeks damages for her own loss of Crew’s consortium, love, affection and mental anguish relating to his death.

The plaintiff is represented by attorney Thomas B. Calvert of Metairie.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

Case no. 2014-00084.

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