Four Lawsuits Filed Regarding Levaquin

Individuals who have suffered serious injuries and side effects from the medication Levaquin could soon have access to what could potentially be the most important litigation against the drug’s manufacturers and distributors. In an announcement that may set the precedent for future legal action regarding Levaquin, the law firm of Carey and Danis made public their fillings of four lawsuits naming Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc., as well as Walgreen Co., one of the largest distributors of the drug, as defendants. The civil suits, filed to represent twenty plantiffs, allege that Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil knew about the severe risk of tendonitis and possible tendon rupture, especially in patients over 60, and yet continued marketing the drug as a safe and efficacious treatment option for several different types of infections; these included lung, sinus, skin and urinary tract infections.

Levaquin belongs to a family of drugs known as quinolones. Specifically, it is classified as a fluoroquinolone, a group of medications used as antibiotics for serious infections where other antibiotics may have proved ineffective. However, while there are acceptable and necessary applications for these medications, these medications can have serious side effects. This is especially true of Levaquin (and similarly, Cipro) which has shown to present a potentially debilitating risk of sincere tendonitis and even tendon rupture. Many cases have been reported of the Achilles tendon rupturing in patients taking Levaquin, causing permanent disability.

The lawsuit asserts that Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil had knowledge of these side effects years before cases began surfacing, yet they continued to market the drug as a safe and viable alternative. Additionally, the lawsuits allege that the two companies manipulated study data in order to circumvent potentially damning evidence against the drug and that the companies minimized the risks to patients when marketing the drug to physicians. The suit charges Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil with negligence, breach of warranties, and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, just to name a few.

Levaquin has been under intense scrutiny for almost a decade; in 2001, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instituted initial warning on possible tendon ruptures in patients taking Levaquin. Again in 2004 the FDA issued warnings on Levaquin, expanding the risk of potential tendon rupture from an isolated incident with the Achilles tendon to other tendons in the body, as well as adding the risk of rupture for a period of time after taking the medication. Through 2007 and 2008, the FDA instituted a requirement for the packing of Levaquin, requiring an extended side effect list to be present with the medication as well as giving the drug the FDA’s strongest warning label, the Black Box label. The FDA has been quoted recently saying that Levaquin, “poses a serious and significant public health concern.”

Learn more about potential Levquin tendon rupture at Also on LegalView, get help with other important legal issues, like finding a mesothelioma lawyer.

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