A Xarelto patient is fighting back against the reversal of a $28 million verdict against drug maker Johnson & Johnson (subsidiaries Bayer and Janssen), which she initially won for an alleged failure to warn against the heightened risk of internal bleeding.
The verdict in Hartman et al v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al was reversed in January in state court, specifically the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Even though jurors decided the case in favor of the plaintiff in December and awarded millions of dollars in damages, The Legal Intelligencer reports the judge granted the defense’s motion notwithstanding verdict. The decision was especially crushing because it was the first win for plaintiffs (albeit in state court) after four losses one after another in federal court.
Xarelto plaintiff’s appeal notes several challenges, including a remark by the judge indicating alleged “inflammatory” remarks by plaintiff council during closing arguments warranted a brand new trial. The judge reportedly made the statement during a post-trial hearing, following remarks by defense counsel asserting plaintiff’s attorney inappropriately referenced defendant manufacturers’ German ties by linking it with Nazis. However, that’s not exactly what the plaintiff’s attorney said. The closing argument did urge jurors to “swing the mighty sword of justice to let those folks know, in Berlin, Germany, when they sell their drugs to us Americans to make their billions,” that they must adequately label their medications. However, after the verdict, social media posts by several members of plaintiff’s trial team reportedly used the hashtag #killinnazis. That may not have been the wisest course of action, but as even the judge noted then, those posts would have had no way of influencing that verdict. Continue reading