Ellen Relkin, of counsel attorney with Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., has been named to the plaintiffs’ steering committee created by judicial order to facilitate lawsuits against the makers of the anticoagulant drug Xarelto, the personal injury and mass tort law firm today announced.
The Hon. Eldon E. Fallon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana selected Ms. Relkin along with 11 other attorneys to serve on the committee. They are tasked with helping ensure that the many Xarelto lawsuits heard by Judge Fallon proceed with optimum efficiency, W&L said.
Those lawsuits were already on track to receive efficient handling —late last year they were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation, the firm noted.
The litigation since then has been officially known as In Re: Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) Products, MDL No. 2592. Ms. Relkin will serve on the plaintiffs’ steering committee for at least a one-year term, according to the judicial order.
Ms. Relkin was chosen to serve on the committee in part because of her past proven strong leadership skills; in other mass-tort litigations she has served or continues to serve on plaintiffs’ steering committees or in the role of liaison counsel, W&L indicated.
Xarelto Side Effects
Xarelto became the subject of a large number of lawsuits because some patients who take it suffer potentially dangerous side effects, such as the risk of unstoppable bleeding, the firm said.
Anticoagulant Xarelto may be prescribed to reduce the risk of deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, especially following knee or hip replacement surgery. Xarelto may also be prescribed to prevent strokes and other clotting events related to atrial fibrillation, W&L explained.
Ms. Relkin has been at the forefront of the firm’s actions against the makers of Xarelto, which positions her to understand the many intricacies of these cases, the firm said.
As a member of the MDL plaintiffs’ steering committee, Ms. Relkin will help conduct all pretrial discovery, coordinate trial team selection, explore all settlement options, and keep the plaintiffs’ attorneys who are not on the steering committee apprised of developments in the MDL, the judicial order specified.
Ms. Relkin began the practice of law in 1984, following completion of legal studies at Rutgers University Law School. She is admitted to practice law in four jurisdictions: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. In New Jersey, Ms. Relkin holds state Supreme Court-issued certification as a Civil Trial Attorney, the firm reported.
W&L said the focus of Ms. Relkin’s practice is pharmaceutical/medical-device product liability and environmental toxic torts. Ms. Relkin has amassed many honors over the years, including designation as both a New Jersey and New York “Super Lawyer.”
Ms. Relkin, the firm said, is a member of many prestigious organizations for attorneys and serves in leadership positions within several of them. Most notably, she holds a post on the Board of Governors of the New Jersey Association for Justice.
Ms. Relkin also is a coveted speaker at professional gatherings of attorneys. She has authored and co-authored a number of law journal articles and treatise chapters, W&L said.