Levaquin Tendon Rupture Sparks MDL and Mass Tort
An antibiotic prescribed to treat life-threatening bacteria and drug-resistant illnesses, Levaquin is also known to cause tendon rupture. Though the medical community has been aware of the risk of Levaquin tendon rupture since 1997, it was not until 2008 that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered manufacturer Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, to update Levaquin’s warning label to include this risk.
Levaquin MDL with 1,461 Cases and Growing
A meeting was recently held regarding all lawsuits that have been consolidated into federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). Minutes from the conference report that as of September 12, 2011, the MDL encompasses 1,461 Levaquin lawsuit actions, and an additional 1,423 may join. The Levaquin MDL is headquartered in Minnesota District Court. Centralizing cases allows for a more streamlined process, for example consolidation of pre-trial case management. All cases in this MDL have similar circumstances, in particular allegations of Levaquin tendon rupture.
In the New Jersey Superior Court of Atlantic County, Judge Carol E. Higbee will oversee a similar lawsuit, this a mass tort against Johnson & Johnson. As in the MDL, plaintiffs – more than 1,900 of them – in the mass tort claim side effects from taking the fluoroquinoline antibiotic.
Back in Minnesota, a Levaquin lawyer for the plaintiffs has claimed that the drug, which is also known generically as levofloxacin, is “defectively designed, inadequately tested, dangerous to human health, and lacks proper warnings,” claiming the that drug’s label should have always disclosed the risk of tendon rupture. Some plaintiffs also detail the lasting effects of their injuries, explaining that they have resulted in “permanent instability and loss of balance, immobility, and pain and suffering.”
Five New Actions Pending in MDL
In Illinois, five recent actions have been rerouted to the Minnesota MDL #1943. These actions, which include dozens of new cases against Levaquin and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, have many facts in common with other cases in the MDL. For this reason, the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) dubbed them “tag along” actions, and ruled that they should join the federal MDL Levaquin lawsuit.
Pre-trial processes for cases in the federal MDL include streamlining several legal steps, as all have basic factors in common. For example, pre-trial discovery can be conducted en masse. In the meantime, plaintiffs await the results from the upcoming bellwether trial, which was postponed from November 14, 2011 to January 3, 2012. Results of the benchmark trial are expected to have an impact on future cases.Invalid tag specified, please contact administrator.