A pharmaceutical company has filed a notice of removal for five lawsuits alleging its blood thinner Pradaxa caused their relatives' deaths.
Plaintiffs Sherry Browne, Ruby Burks, Meredith Davis, Janis Randman and Janice Sanchez filed five separate lawsuits on Sept. 13 against defendants Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals (BIPI), Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. and Bidachem.
Davis (13-L-467) filed a motion for voluntary dismissal without prejudice on Oct. 1 through attorney John J. Driscoll of St. Louis.
BIPI, represented by Dan H. Ball and Molly M. Jones of Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis, filed their notice of removal for the remaining four cases to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in East St. Louis on Oct. 3.
According to the motion, the defendant claims removal is proper due to the complete diversity of citizenship. BIPI is a citizen of Delaware and Connecticut currently and at the time of the alleged incident, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG is a citizen of Germany and Bidchem S.P.A. is a citizen of Italy.
The defendant also claims it satisfies the required amount in controversy for removal. It alleges the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000.
According to the plaintiffs’ complaints, some allege their relatives died within months of taking Pradaxa, while others claim the chronic bleeding the drug caused required them to receive blood transfusions to prevent death.
Pradaxa is used to treat atrial fibrillation, a condition marked by an irregular heartbeat. The condition causes the heart to have erratic rhythms, which forms blood clots that can travel to the lungs or brain and can cause life-threatening conditions.
The drug was launched in North America in 2010 and skyrocketed by 2011, the suit states. It appeared to be an ideal replacement for the medication Coumadin. However, there is no known antidote to treat patients when too much medication is found in their blood, the suit alleges.
The plaintiffs allege they were unaware of the dangers and the defendants still fail to adequately caution the public of the risks.
The plaintiffs seek actual and punitive damages, costs, pre-judgment interest at the highest rate allowed by law and other relief the court deems just.
John J. Driscoll of The Driscoll Law Firm is representing all of the plaintiffs.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 13-L-466.13-L-467, 13-L-468, 13-L-469, 13-L-470