California resident Debroah McNamar has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Boehringer Ingelheim, manufacturer of the blood-thinning drug Pradaxa, which allegedly caused her husband’s death. According to news reports, McNamar’s lawsuit was filed on January 10, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The lawsuit alleges that her husband, Philip McNamar, was prescribed the drug for treatment of his atrial fibrillation in January 2010.

The Dangers of Pradaxa

Shortly after he started taking the medication, Philip McNamar allegedly suffered excessive bleeding and a ruptured abdominal aorta. The condition McNamar suffered was known as an “abdominal aortic aneurysm,” which occurs when the large blood vessel that supplied blood to the abdomen, pelvis and legs becomes abnormally large. Philip McNamar allegedly bled to death as a result of taking Pradaxa.

The lawsuit alleges that drug manufacturer, Boehringer Ingelheim, failed to warn consumers that there was no reversal agent for Pradaxa, which could stop the bleeding. For example, excessive bleeding can be reversed in patients taking warfarin with vitamin K injections. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there were more than 800 reports of problems with Pradaxa. Of those more than 500 involved excessive bleeding and 117 involved fatalities. McNamar’s lawsuit seeks damages for negligence, failure to warn, deceptive trade practices, design defect and wrongful death.

Drug Manufacturer’s Liability

Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to consumers to make products that are safe. In addition, they are also required to warn consumers and doctors about any types of risks or dangers posed by the drug. A majority of drugs today – whether they are over-the-counter or prescription – have risks and side effects. Some of these effects are relatively minor such as dry mouth or nausea. In the case of Pradaxa, there is an excessive and irreversible bleeding risk.

Consumers must receive all the information they need about the dangers and risks of a drug so they can make informed decisions with regard to their treatment. Anyone who has suffered serious side effects as a result of taking Pradaxa or anyone who has lost a loved one as a result of Pradaxa side effects would be well advised to contact an experienced defective product lawyer who will fight for their rights and ensure that the negligent drug manufacturer is held liable.