Wilkinson Walsh Wins Another Decisive Victory for Bayer in Xarelto Trial

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WW+E’s Brian Stekloff Led the Team to Its Fourth Xarelto Win

Washington, D.C. – Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, led by Founding Partner Brian Stekloff, won the second state-court bellwether trial over the blood-thinner Xarelto when the jury rejected claims against Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. WW+E Partners Lori Alvino McGill and Jeremy Barber also served as counsel for Bayer in the trial.

The plaintiff in the Russell case alleged that Bayer and Janssen were liable for claims that the Xarelto label did not adequately instruct doctors on the risks of bleeding associated with the anticoagulant Xarelto. According to Law360, the Philadelphia jury “rejected claims that warnings labels for the … drug left out key information about the increased risk the drug posed when combined with antiplatelet medications.”

Previously, WW+E secured two full defense verdicts for Bayer in similar cases in the federal multi-district litigation in Louisiana. As lead trial counsel in the multi-district litigation trials, WW+E Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson obtained complete defense verdicts in both trials, in each case within an hour or two after delivering closing arguments.

Today’s second state-court victory comes after the first state-court trial resulted in a judgment for Bayer and Janssen notwithstanding a jury verdict in the plaintiff’s favor. In December 2017, a jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas awarded nearly $28 million to plaintiff Lynn Hartman in a similar Xarelto lawsuit. After WW+E Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson delivered the post-trial argument for the defense, which filed motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and a new trial, the trial court granted the verdict based on the plaintiff’s failure to introduce sufficient evidence of causation.

In addition to WW+E’s Brian Stekloff, Lori Alvino McGill, and Jeremy Barber, the trial team included Sheila Boston of Arnold & Porter and Tarek Ismail of Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP. The case is Daniel Russell et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. et al., case number 150500362, in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.

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