A lawyer for Johnson & Johnson claimed that the company did warn the public about the risks associated with taking Levaquin, the popular antibiotic, during closing statements in a Minneapolis federal court today.
“The information was not concealed,” said John Dames, a member of the J&J legal team. “We provide warnings that give doctors the means to care adequately for their patients.”
He went on to accuse claimant John Schedin’s lawyers of manipulating the truth for profit. Schedin’s lawsuit was filed in 2008 after he suffered Achilles tendon ruptures or partial ruptures in both heels while he was taking Levaquin during a bout with bronchitis. At the time, he was also taking steroids. Schedin’s is the first case to go to trial with the makers of Levaquin.
Schedin also claimed during the trial that Ortho-McNeil went against Minnesota’s consumer fraud act when it purposely hid information and even left some important factors out all together. Schedin’s lawyers were seeking actual damages as well as punitive damages.
“There is no proof that Levaquin caused Mr. Schedin’s tendon rupture, and there is no proof that Levaquin has more risk of tendon rupture than similar drugs,” Dames went on to say. “Levaquin is a life-saving drug. That opinion was shared by all of the experts who testified in this case.”
In the end, all of Dames’ words fell on deaf ears, since the jury, which consisted of 8 men and 4 women, ruled in Schedin’s favor. He was awarded $1.8 million in total damages.
“Mr. Schedin is very pleased because he feels his decision to come forward has been vindicated — he came forward so this doesn’t happen to others,” co-council for the plaintiff, Rons Goldser, stated. ” It was never about the money for him.”