The Trial Lawyer Winter 2018 - Page 41

first place. Unfortunately, there was no antidote for NOACs until recently; even a slight bump or bruising could lead to fatal hemorrhaging. Xarelto has had a checkered history and is currently the cause of action in over 21,000 pending lawsuits. Plaintiffs allege that there were other medications available that were as effective in reducing the risk of blood clotting that did not pose the same risk of fatal hemorrhaging. In fact, a recent clinical trial, known as MARINER, failed to demonstrate that Xarelto was effective in preventing blood clotting in patients at risk for venous thromboembolism due to infections, heart failure, stroke, and respiratory disorders. Another study, based on an analysis of 11,000 patient records, found that the hemorrhaging risk associated with Xarelto was “low” — but this study was funded by Bayer and as of this writing has not been confirmed by independent research. Last year, a clinical study known as NAVIGATOR- ESUS, also sponsored by the manufacturers, was abandoned when it failed to demonstrate that Xarelto was superior to aspirin in the prevention of secondary stroke. Study Reports Connection Between Valsartan and Angioedema A common blood pressure medication that was recently the subject of a recall over contamination with a carcinogenic industrial chemical has been linked to a condition known as angioedema. The case report, published recently in the journal Patient Safety in Surgery, came out of the King Abdullah University Hospital in Al Ramtha, Jordan, where a 38-year-old man with a history of high blood pressure was undergoing back surgery. Angioedema is swelling under the skin and mucous membranes that is generally associated with hives and histamine reactions to allergens such as insect bites and bee stings, certain foods and even medications. In some cases, it is a manifestation of a genetic disorder. An episode of angioedema comes on in a manner of minutes or hours. Most often, it affects the face, particularly the lips, eyes, and tongue. However, it can affect other parts of the body as well. Untreated, angioedema can be life- threatening. The patient in question had been taking valsartan daily for four years. His angioedema episode began after the surgery was completed. He was being turned to a supine position for transport to recovery when the surgical team noticed severe swelling of the patient’s neck, face, and tongue. It was quickly determined that the angioedema was caused by the valsartan in his system. Two hours following emergency treatment, the patient’s swelling began to subside; full recovery took three days. The patient was immediately removed from valsartan. An incidence of valsartan-induced angioedema was reported in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy in 2003, only eight years after sartan drugs were first approved. It was the third such incident known to have occurred. The patient, a 64-year-old woman with uncontrolled hypertension, had just had her dosage increased; when the dosage was reduced, her symptom disappeared, suggesting that the event was dose- related. According to the authors of the report, it was “…a unique case of intraoperative angiotensin II receptor blocker-induced angioedema.” Nonetheless, they advise that “Anesthesiologists should be aware of such rare, but potentially dangerous, perioperative adverse reactions that can occur with angiotensin II receptor blockers use.” Motel 6 Will Pay $6.6M to Settle Latino Discrimination Class Action Motel 6 has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit by paying $6.6 million to guests who alleged they were targeted because of their race and their information was sent to immigration officials by the motel. Several Latino Motel 6 customers alleged in their class action lawsuit that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were sent personal information about them when they stayed at the economically inclined inn. Ultimately, several hotel guests were detained by agents, according to the Motel 6 class action lawsuit. In the face of class action allegations of racial discrimination, Motel 6 has agreed to pay those whose information was sent to ICE agents. Class members whose information was sent can claim $50, while those who faced ICE questioning will receive $1,000. Motel 6 guests who faced deportation because of the hotel’s disclosures to ICE will receive $7,500. “Motel 6 fully recognizes the seriousness of the situation and accepts full responsibility for both compensating those who were harmed and taking the necessary steps to ensure that we protect the privacy of our guests,” noted hotel representatives The Trial Lawyer x 39