Johnson & Johnson Settles Some Levaquin Lawsuits in Minnesota MDL

By July 6, 2012 Uncategorized

Drug giant Johnson & Johnson has reportedly agreed to settle some of the Levaquin lawsuits filed against the company. The lawsuits took issue with the antibiotic’s side effects, which include rotator cuff tears and tendon ruptures.

In the minutes from a status conference that were held earlier this month, J&J agreed to settle hundreds of Levaquin lawsuits that were filed as part of an MDL that was pending in New Jersey state court. Even a few federal cases that are part of the MDL may be settled as part of the agreement. Right now, J&J and subsidiary Ortho-McNeil are facing more than 3,700 lawsuits because of Levaquin side effects like tendon ruptures. All of those lawsuits are claiming that J&J failed to warn consumers and healthcare professional of the dangers linked to the drug.

The federal lawsuits against Levaquin were consolidated as part of an MDL, which is being coordinated out of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. Judge John R. Tunheim is presiding. It was during a status conference that occurred on June 11 that the lawyers explained that there are currently 1,787 cases pending in the MDL. According to a case list, there are also 1,931 lawsuits that were centralized in New Jersey state court. Recent settlements have caused the number of Jersey cases to change. The minutes from the conference show that the settlement was reached but that J&J has yet to actually pay. The next Levaquin trial date is to start in September of this year in Illinois state court.

Levaquin is an antibiotic that is used to treat severe bacterial infections. The drug is also known to cause tendon ruptures and rotator cuff tears. The chances of these conditions increase if the patients are older than 65 or if they are taking corticosteroids. These new settlements come after two lawsuits were dismissed and one ended up with a $1.8 million award to the plaintiff, which was upheld on appeal.