Pradaxa® Lawsuit News: Federal Court Imposes Sanctions Against Manufacturer of Pradaxa®, notes Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP
Kristine Kraft, of the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Device Litigation Department at Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP representing victims of dangerous pharmaceutical medications and unsafe medical devices, comments on Judge Herndon’s order imposing sanctions on the makers of Pradaxa® for their discovery violations.
On December 9, 2013, the federal court presiding over the Pradaxa® multi-district litigation currently underway in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois, entered an order sanctioning Boehringer Ingelheim, the manufacturer of Pradaxa®, for continued discovery violations. As stated in his 51-page order, Judge David Herndon was “stunned” by Boehringer’s “egregious” discovery violations. The Court further found that Boehringer’s actions were in “bad faith,” and that monetary sanctions were warranted in the amount of $931,500. (In re Pradaxa (Dabigatran Extexilate) Products Liability Litigation – MDL No. 2385)
Kristine Kraft, of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP, explains that this is the second time sanctions have been entered against the makers of Pradaxa® during this litigation. In its September 18, 2013 decision, the Court ordered Boehringer to pay $29,540 in sanctions. The order further stated that the Court was a firm believer in progressive discipline, and that Boehringer was required to abide by the discovery rules.
Plaintiffs filed a second motion for sanctions, alleging that Boehringer’s discovery abuses continued. In the motion, plaintiffs alleged that Boehringer engaged in continuous violations of the discovery process by failing to produce or even identify discoverable information, allowing vital evidence to be destroyed, violating court orders, and making misrepresentations in open court. As set forth in the December 9th order, Judge Herndon agreed, finding that “the reasonable inferences to be drawn from the actions of the defendant at this point in time are that such maneuverers are by design.”
The Court’s December 9th order indicates that the files of Professor Thorsten Lehr may be among the evidence that allegedly was destroyed by Boehringer. Court documents describe Professor Lehr as a prominent scientist who played a key role in developing Pradaxa® and who authored a study that initially concluded that Pradaxa®’s safety was related to the therapeutic range of the drug. The Court’s order explains that Professor Lehr’s desire to publicly disclose the existence of a therapeutic range for Pradaxa® was highly controversial within the company. The order quotes Boehringer employee, Dr. Andreas Clemens, who stated: “The world is crying for this information – but the tricky part is that we have to tailor the messages smart.” The order further states that, ultimately, Boehringer required that the study be revised to exclude information about therapeutic range.
According to Kraft: “The imposition of nearly one million dollars in sanctions against Boehringer sends a strong message that discovery violations are not to be taken lightly. We will continue to zealously pursue this case until the individuals injured by Pradaxa® obtain the justice they deserve.”
Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP is a unique law firm that aggressively represents its clients injured as a result of dangerous pharmaceutical medications and unsafe medical devices. The attorneys Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP who represent victims harmed by pharmaceutical manufacturers include Roger Denton, Kristine Kraft, Beth Wilkins Flieger, Ashley Brittain Landers, and Tara Rocque. With hard work, creative thinking, and strong trial skills, we have earned an outstanding nationwide reputation by representing thousands of individuals who have suffered serious injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered from complications arising from the use of a pharmaceutical product, please contact the attorneys at Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP toll-free at 1-800-873-5297 for your confidential and free consultation.
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