Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the News: Blood-thinner Pradaxa target of mass-claims suit

Interesting read from USA Today. From time to time you will find a story that suggests - with insider type terms - what the 'next big mass tort' will be. It's actually offensive to me when I read lawyers and internet marketers serving as  nothing more than horsetrack touts about a product that may or may not hurt people.

In the USA Today article, the reporter notes that lawsuits involving Pradaxa are part of a "high-dollar stream of product liability lawsuits, a burgeoning world of mass claims in which specialty law firms cast a wide net for injured consumers who represent the pitfalls of marketing risky products."

Our law firm gets calls from people who believe that a product may be to blame for any number of maladies. On this site for nearly six years we have typically posted articles, news, information on recalls, and links to news on pharmaceutical products. I like to think that for the most part it's just reference to news, without a flat out pitch for cases.

So take a read of the USA Today article and tell me what you think (ageorgialawyer(at)

   pearheading the Pradaxa litigation is the San Antonio-based law firm of attorney Mikal Watts, a prominent product liability attorney and deep-pocketed Democratic fundraiser.
Watts, who recently hosted President Barack Obama at his home for a private fundraiser, filed tens of thousands of claims for redress after a $20 billion fund was set up to handle claims from the 2010 Gulf oil spill. He was responsible for an $800 million settlement after winning a case against Ford and Firestone alleging defective tires and vehicle parts, one of the country's largest product liability payouts.
Pradaxa, Watts wagers, could be the country's next blockbuster civil settlement.
Emily Baier, a spokeswoman for Pradaxa's company, Boehringer Ingelheim, declined to comment on the lawsuit, though she said safety is the company's chief priority.
The drug has been under attack by physicians groups and patient advocates since 3,781 adverse effects and 542 deaths associated with Pradaxa were reported last year to the Food and Drug Administration. Its adverse reports and deaths surpassed all other monitored drugs. The FDA is now conducting a safety review of the drug, which millions of people around the country take twice a day.
Yet some legal observers say the case exposes the seams of mass litigation: Clients like Jackson are treated as no more than a claim number. And the fairest outcome for Jackson and numerous others, experts say, will not result from a collective suit in which cherry-picked examples stand-in for hundreds of individual stories.
"It's going to be one of the larger mass torts in the history of the United States," said Ryan L. Thompson, attorney with Watts Guerra Craft, who is working on scores of cases including Jackson's, with a team of 70 employees dedicated to the Pradaxa suit.