Levaquin Injury Tendon Damage or Ruptures

by admin on August 3, 2010

Do I Have A Levaquin Claim?

Our Levaquin lawyers are investigating potential Levaquin lawsuits throughout the United States for claims on behalf of victims who took Levaquin and now suffer from tendonitis and tendon rupture in the rotator cuffs, Achilles tendons, biceps, thumbs or hands.  These Levaquin lawsuits allege product liability, negligence and failure to warn claims against Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals (part of Johnson & Johnson).

What Is Levaquin Used For?

Levaquin, along with Cipro and the generic drug levofloxacin, are antibiotics primarily used to treat specific bacterial infections of the lung, sinus, skin and urinary tract.  Levaquin is available by tablet or injection.

How Does Levaquin Cause Tendon Damage?

Our Levaquin experts believe that the drug is toxic to tendon fibers and may decrease blood supply in the tendons.  The FDA’s database has over 262 reported cases of tendon ruptures, 259 cases of tendonitis, and 274 cases of other tendon injuries, all involving the use of Levaquin or its generic version, levofloxacin. Many of the tendon injuries caused by Levaquin, including rupture of the Achilles tendon, require surgery to repair.  Sutures are placed on the torn ends of the tendon, then are tied together to repair the tendon.  Patients are frequently put in casts for four to eight weeks before regaining full mobility.  These surgeries can cost around $12,000.

Who Makes Levaquin?

Brand-name Levaquin is manufactured by Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals (part of Johnson & Johnson). Generic levofloxacin is manufactured  by Vistakon Pharmaceuticals.  Cipro is manufactured by Bayer/Schering.

What Is The Status of Levaquin Litigation?

It is only now, after the filing of numerous lawsuits and based on the demand of the FDA, that the manufacturer of Levaquin includes serious warnings and a black box regarding Levquin.  The black box warning was mandated on July 8, 2008; however, there is evidence that the manufacturer received petitions to include warnings about the tendon-related injuries since at least 1996—more than 10 years earlier.

Levaquin drug injury lawyers successfully petitioned the Judicial Panel on MultiDistrict Litigation (JPML) for consolidation and/or coordination of Levaquin injury cases.  This type of coordination, called MultiDistrict Litigation (MDL), allows the cases to be combined before one federal judge for the purpose of common discovery. In other words, it is a class action lawsuit only for discovery purposes.   Then, individual cases are usually sent back to their home states for case-specific discovery and trial.  The cases have been consolidated before Judge Tunheim of the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, where there are approximately 83 pending cases.  Other Levaquin lawsuits are pending in state court in New Jersey, and in other states across the country.  Judge Tunheim is now overseeing case-specific discovery for a select number of bellwether cases, from which early trials will be selected.  Typically, after bellwether trials, there is a possiblity for a settlement.

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