Levaquin Class Action Lawsuit
Levaquin class action lawsuits pertain to the tendon and also in recent years retinal damage that may be caused as a result of this drug. Levaquin or Levofloxacin is a prescription antibiotic manufactured by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and is usually prescribed in cases where infections do not respond to other medicines. It is an extremely potent antibiotic which initially was used for extremely serious bacterial infections. More recently it has been prescribed by doctors for common bacterial infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Levaquin approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996. However, in 2002 and 2007 the warning label was amended to include a warning about the risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture. In July of 2008 the warning label changed again to include the so-called "black box" warning which emphasizes the risk for tendinitis and tendon rupture in all ages, but especially for those over 60 and who are also taking corticosteroids. The FDA had directed all antibiotic manufacturers making fluoroquinolones to enhance their warning of tendon rupture and damage, but Johnson & Johnson failed to do so, leading to numerous lawsuits by users afflicted with tendon rupture and damage. The company denies the charge of failure to warn, which is the cornerstone of the case against it.
Close to two thousand product liability lawsuits before US Federal Courts have been consolidated in a multi-district litigation (MDL) lawsuit in US District Court of the District of Minnesota and fifteen hundred or so lawsuits in New Jersey have been grouped together in the New Jersey State Court. Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, and lawyers for plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits in the ongoing Levaquin multidistrict litigation met on the 11th of June, 2012, before Judge John R. Tunheim for a status conference in the ongoing multidistrict litigation case. Minutes from this meeting reveal that 1,787 cases are currently pending in the MDL and thousands more are centralized in New Jersey state court, making a total of about 3,700 lawsuits that the defendants must deal with. The defendants have declared that they have reached settlements for several hundred plaintiffs involved in the centralized New Jersey litigation case. Out of these 845 cases were settled by Johnson and Johnson in October 2012 and settlement talks have been ongoing throughout November 2012. Johnson & Johnson's attempts to defend the drug in a court of law have yielded mixed results, having won three of the four cases. Four such individual lawsuits, separate from the MDL, have made it to trial by jury. Three cases were ruled in favor of the defendant, although one jury did find that the drug maker had committed failure to warn; the plaintiff, however, did not establish that Levaquin definitively caused his symptoms in this case. On December 8, 2010 Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay plaintiff John Schedin $1.1 million in punitive damages, as well as compensatory damages in the amount of $700,000, in the first Levaquin MDL case to go to trial. The federal court jury in Minneapolis found that Johnson & Johnson together with its Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit had failed to properly warn of the risks of taking Levaquin.
Thus the first case that went to trial ended in an award of 1.8 million dollars in 2010, opening the floodgates for similar litigation. Lisa Presley, in a case filed against Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals as a class action lawsuit, stated that she had sustained permanent and severe injuries from the development of Achilles tendonitis that had occurred as a result of her use of the drug Levaquin. She filed a number of charges against the defendants and has sited multiple damages for which she is seeking compensation. The class action lawsuit was filed to let others who may be experiencing the same effects seek compensation for their medical bills and other expenses as well. The charges filed against the defendants included violation of consumer protection laws, negligence, fraud, strict product liability, breach of warranties and failure to warn. The damages that Ms Presley is seeking are for medical expenses, economic losses, physical impairment, disability, mental anguish, disfigurement, suffering, and pain.
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