Now that the Levaquin trials have begun, it is slowly becoming clear that plaintiffs might just win their cases. A couple of things come into play when coming to this conclusion, but it can be nearly impossible to decide what a jury will say during a trial.
One reason why things look good for the plaintiffs so far is John Schedin’s verdict against the makers of Levaquin. Schedin won just under $2 million in compensation toward medical bills, as well as his pain and suffering that was the result of his taking Levaquin. Schedin suffered from tendon ruptures of his Achilles heels while he was using the popular but controversial antibiotic. Schedin’s award set a precedent for the new plaintiffs facing trials.
A second plaintiff is hoping to win a monetary award after suffering from a single Achilles tendon rupture. The verdict in that case is expected to be handed down inside of a month. There are many more Levaquin lawsuits taking place later on this year in both federal and state courts.
Yet another reason things are looking good for the plaintiffs is the fact that the FDA warnings of potential harm didn’t come fast enough. More than 2,500 Levaquin lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts amid claims that Johnson & Johnson did not properly warn doctors or the public of severe risk of tendon ruptures that were linked to the drug.
The FDA didn’t issue a black box warning on the label until 2008. Unfortunately, that warning was too late for many patients who were already suffering from tendon injuries. Even though the next bellwether Levaquin trial is not going to be tried until November of this year, there will be some other trials that will reach court before then. One of them is the first New Jersey Levaquin trial. This trial was delayed back in April, but is set to go on June 20. The main point for the plaintiffs is to prove that the Levaquin was the cause of the injuries and that they took the pills before the FDA black box warning was issued. Naturally, plaintiffs who took the pill before the black box warning was issued have a high chance of winning their argument, but previous awards will play a role in these cases as well. In the end, we will just have to wait and see.