German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc. has agreed to pay $650 million to settle the claims of approximately 4,000 people who were allegedly injured by use of the drug Pradaxa. San Antonio-based trial lawyer Mikal Watts, of the law firm Watts Guerra LLP, served as a co-lead counsel in the lawsuit.
Pradaxa is an anticoagulant agent that is prescribed to help lower the risk of stroke among people suffering from the common heart condition known as atrial fibrillation. Since it was approved for use in 2010, more than 1,600 individuals have filed lawsuits in state and federal courts in the United States alleging they suffered bleeding events caused by the drug.
“We are pleased that today’s settlement will bring justice and financial assistance to those hurt while taking Pradaxa,” Watts says. “We are proud of the settlement we have achieved, congratulate the company on doing the right thing, and look forward to distributing these funds to our clients as expeditiously as possible.”
Watts Guerra LLP led the Pradaxa litigation from start to finish, filing the first federal injury and death cases in the country and moved to consolidate the federal litigation.
Officials with Boehringer Ingelheim said the settlement will allow them to go back to focusing solely on their mission of improving patients’ lives and will allow the company to avoid the distraction and uncertainty of lengthy litigation.
“This settlement does not change the facts about Pradaxa or its importance to patients,” says Andreas Neumann, head of the legal department and general counsel for Boehringer Ingelheim. “Time and again the benefits and safety of Pradaxa have been confirmed in many clinical trials and in real world data analyses. We continue to stand resolutely behind Pradaxa and believed from the outset that the plaintiffs’ claims lacked any merit.”