Florida wrongful death lawsuit filed over prescription drug death

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in federal court by a Florida woman whose husband died of a brain hemorrhage after taking a prescribed anticoagulant drug.

William Packard was prescribed Xarelto in January 2012 to treat a nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. In June 2012, Packard suffered a subdural hemorrhage, or hematoma. Excess blood collected between the layers of tissue around the brain, causing pressure on the brain. Packard was admitted to the hospital, where doctors attempted to alleviate the pressure by drilling a burr hole through the scalp. However, the procedure was not enough to save Packard’s life.

In her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and Bayer AG, the manufacturers of Xarelto, Nancy Packard alleges that the defendants did not provide proper warnings about the risks of taking the drug — particularly about the fact that excessive bleeding could be irreversible. When other anticoagulants, such as warfarin, are used, vitamin K injections can be used to stimulate blood clotting in case of excessive bleeding. However, there is no such antidote for Xarelto.

Packard also alleges that the defendants’ marketing of the drug failed to acknowledge the danger of irreversible bleeding.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $75,000.