Additional Levaquin Lawsuits Filed

Levaquin, an antibiotic used for serious infection cases, has been in the midst of a number of legal woes as of late. A number of class action lawsuits have been filed against the makers and distributors of the drug; those named thus far are Johnson and Johnson, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development and Walgreens. Recently, a motion was made to consolidate all pending litigation against the companies into a larger class action lawsuit. In an separate incident, a notable national law firm filed four additional lawsuits alleging that Johnson and Johnson and Ortho-McNeil downplayed allegations and buried claims of tendon rupture in patients taking Levaquin. Internationally, European countries began discussing the risks of Levaquin as early as 2001, requiring that Johnson and Johnson perform additional studies on the risk of tendon rupture.

On September 2, 2009 fifteen additional lawsuits were filed by residents of Illinois alleging severe tendon problems. All cases further state that while taking Levaquin, they were unaware of the serious risk of tendon injuries, including rupture, and as a result suffered serious and lasting tendon injuries. These claims are almost identical to other lawsuits filed against Johnson and Johnson et al., with essentially the same allegations. In fact, litigation regarding Levaquin is nothing new for the companies, though the scope of this most recent surge may be a unique experience for them.

When Levaquin was first introduced, the risk of tendon rupture was listed as one of the many side effects. However, the risk was seemingly downplayed among a litany of other potential side effects. Yet, the risk of serious and debilitating tendon injuries while taking Levaquin was significantly higher for the average patient and nearly triple that of other antibiotics in the fluoroquinolone family in people over 60. In what appears to be one of the more potentially damaging pieces of evidence, Levaquin was touted as having an excellent safety rating and as being one of the safest antibiotics on the market. This appears to be a deliberate and intentional cover-up of an extremely serious health concern.

Though Levaquin has been under intense scrutiny lately, this is also nothing new. Since 2001, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been issuing increasingly more insistent warnings on the drug, requiring stronger and stronger labeling and mandatory informational packets explaining the risk of serious tendon side effects, such as tendon rupture. In 2008, the FDA finally required that Levaquin carry the black box warning, the most serious warning label the FDA can require a drug to carry. Many patients who experience a Levaquin related tendon rupture are often severely disabled as a result of the side effects of the medication. Oftentimes, these patients pursue a Levaquin lawsuit to seek monetary compensation to cover medical treatments and other life necessities.

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