As a Fort Worth Levaquin Tendon Rupture Attorney I am pleased to report the jury verdict of the first Levaquin Bell Weather trial that was recently announced.
A Minneapolis, Minnesota federal court jury announced that Johnson & Johnson must pay $1.1 million in punitive damages to an 82-year-old man who claimed that it failed to properly warn of the risks of Levaquin linked tendon damage.
The jury awarded compensatory damages of $700,000 to John Schedin, who sued J&J and its Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit in 2008. Schedin, alleged that he ruptured both Achilles tendons after taking Levaquin, and that the companies failed to warn doctors and patients of the antibiotic drug’s association with tendon damage.
The trial was the first on more than 2,600 claims in U.S. courts alleging that Levaquin caused tendon damage in patients and that New Brunswick, New Jersey-based J&J failed to disclose the risk adequately. The jury, in ordering punitive damages, found the company acted with deliberate disregard for the safety of others.
In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required J&J and makers of related drugs in the class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones to include warnings on the risk of tendon ruptures. The risk was higher in patients older than 60, those taking steroids, and recipients of kidney, heart or lung transplants, according to the FDA.
The plaintiffs claim the label warning should have been improved earlier and remains inadequate. They also say J&J and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen boosted sales by downplaying risks.
The drug has been prescribed more than 430 million times worldwide. Sales of the drug through the first nine months of the year totaled $957 million, the company said in an Oct. 19 statement.
Ortho-McNeil-Janssen didn’t send doctors letters about Levaquin’s risks before the 2008 label change.
Schedin was prescribed Levaquin and a steroid for an upper respiratory infection in 2005, according to his complaint.
His doctor would have prescribed another antibiotic had he known “about the risks associated with Levaquin, especially when taken together with steroids,” Schedin said in court papers.
The case is Schedin v. Johnson & Johnson, 08-cv-05743, combined for trial in In re Levaquin Products Liability Litigation, 08-md-01943, U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.
Information and commentary provided by Dallas Fort Worth Personal Injury Attorney Dr Shezad Malik. The Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm can be contacted in Dallas at 214-390-3189. If you or a loved one has been injured from a Levaquin Tendon Rupture, please fill out our contact card for a free consultation.