A federal court recently ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $1.8 million $700,000 in actual damages and $1.1 million in punitive damages to an 82-year-old man from Minnesota who claimed that he was injured by the antibiotic Levaquin. The drug is an antibiotic used to treat infections such as pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, as well as sinus, urinary tract, kidney, prostate and skin infections.
The drug has been known to cause complications including tendon damage, Achilles tendon rupture, inflammation, Achilles tendonitis, and injury to the rotator cuff, biceps, hand and thumb that may require extensive surgery and could leave the patient incapacitated and facing large medical bills. In this case, the plaintiff was prescribed Levaquin in 2005 to treat bronchitis but after just three days of use, the plaintiff’s Achilles’ tendons ruptured.
In 2008, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration required Johnson & Johnson and manufacturers of generic forms of the drug to print warnings about the drug’s risk of tendon injuries.
There are currently about 2,600 lawsuits pending that generally allege that Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries failed to provide adequate warnings about the drug’s potential risk of tendon damage and claim that if patients had been warned about the potential side effects, they could have contacted their doctors at the first sign of any problem and possibly avoided a tendon rupture or permanent damage.
Many of the lawsuits have been consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation before Judge Tunheim in Minnesota. This federal court process, commonly referred to as an MDL, merges complex cases with similar underlying questions of fact solely for pre-trial discovery and fact-finding purposes but then allows the cases to proceed to trial in the court in which they were originally filed if the cases do not settle.
If you or a loved one have been injured by Levaquin, you should consult with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney immediately to discuss your legal rights. Contact us for a free consultation.