In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Boehringer Ingelheim's novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) drug, Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate). Its purpose is to prevent blood clots and strokes in patients who have abnormal heart rhythm or atrial fibrillation. Currently one of the most-prescribed and best-selling drugs in its class, Pradaxa has been linked to a number of serious side effects and complications, including uncontrollable bleeding. The FDA has received thousands of reports of uncontrollable internal bleeding events caused by Pradaxa, many of which proved fatal. In fact, internal bleeding is the leading cause of death for patients taking Pradaxa.
If you lost a loved one due to Pradaxa-related bleeding, you may have legal recourse. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you explore your legal options to determine if filing a wrongful death lawsuit is right for you and your family.
Pradaxa Internal Bleeding
Pradaxa was the first of a relatively new class of blood-thinning NOAC medications. Instead of preventing blood clots by inhibiting vitamin K, as older anti-clotting medications such as warfarin do, Pradaxa directly inhibits the protein thrombin, making it impossible for platelets to stick together to form clots.
Pradaxa's different mechanism of action comes with both benefits and risks. For example, unlike patients taking warfarin, people taking Pradaxa don't have to avoid certain foods or submit to weekly blood tests to ensure the medication is working as intended. However, while warfarin internal bleeding events can be counteracted with vitamin K, there wasn't a safe and reliable antidote for Pradaxa until the FDA approved Praxbind® in October 2015—a full five years after Pradaxa's approval. Many Pradaxa patients—as well as the families of patients who died of uncontrollable bleeding while taking Pradaxa—claim the long gap between the approval of the drug and the approval of the antidote needlessly put patients at risk.
Who Can Bring a Pradaxa Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
When a family member or loved one dies from the side effects or complications of a dangerous drug, the decedent's survivors can file a wrongful death lawsuit in civil court to pursue compensation from the allegedly at-fault individuals or entity.
However, the law doesn't allow just anyone to file a wrongful death lawsuit; this action is limited to:
- Immediate family members, such as the spouses, children, adopted children, or parents (if the decedent was unmarried)
- Other partners and dependents, such as life or domestic partners, punitive spouses, and individuals who were financially dependent on the decedent
- Extended family members, such as the brothers, sisters, grandparents, or aunts or uncles of the decedent
- Others who relied on the decedent for financial care or support
Damages in a Pradaxa Uncontrollable Bleeding Wrongful Death Lawsuit
Plaintiffs in a wrongful death lawsuit can pursue compensation for both economic and non-economic damages related to the death of their family member or loved one. Economic damages are those that compensate the plaintiffs for financial losses related to the death of their loved one, such as:
- Medical expenses related to the death
- Funeral, and burial or cremation costs
- Loss of goods and services the victim would have provided
- Loss of the decedent's earnings
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of benefits, such as medical insurance or pensions
Non-economic damages compensate the plaintiffs for emotional harm caused by the loss of their loved one, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of protection, guidance, care, nurturing, etc.
- Loss of companionship and love
- Loss of consortium (for those who lost a spouse or domestic partner)
Are You Considering a Pradaxa Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
If you lost a family member or loved one to Pradaxa-related uncontrollable internal bleeding, you may be eligible to seek compensation. While no monetary award can replace a lost loved one, a fair settlement can help ease financial burdens.
Contact McGartland Law today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your potential Pradaxa wrongful death case. Our firm is eager to help you pursue whatever compensation you may deserve on behalf of your loved one.