Johnson & Johnson Settles 800+ Levaquin Lawsuits
According to an article in Businessweek, Johnson & Johnson has settled over 800 lawsuits pertaining to their antibiotic drug Levaquin. Plaintiffs accused Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Ortho-McNeil, of downplaying risks of the drug to improve sales. The terms of the settlement have not been released, but it makes a significant dent in the total number of Levaquin lawsuits filed in Minnesota federal court, which is estimated to number close to 2,000 (In re: Levaquin Products Liability Litigation, 08-md-01943). It has not been revealed how much Johnson & Johnson will pay the plaintiffs to settle these lawsuits.
Levaquin, or Levofloxacin, is an antibiotic drug that treats infections from illnesses like pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and various infections. It was approved by the FDA in 1997. Since then, studies have determined that Levaquin causes tendon problems, including tendon ruptures. In 2008, the FDA required manufacturers of fluoroquinolones (the class of drugs to which Levaquin belongs) to increase warnings in regards to tendon ruptures. In July of 2009, the FDA required this same class of antibiotics to carry black box warnings about this risk. According to plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson should have provided amplified warnings prior to the FDA requiring them to do so.
It is estimated that Johnson & Johnson is dealing with approximately 3,400 Levaquin related lawsuits on both a state and federal level. To date, there have been four bellwether trials. Johnson & Johnson was successful defending itself in three of them. One of the trials from 2010, however, resulted in a $1.8 million jury verdict. Part of the 2012 settlement includes working towards a system for plaintiffs to determine if their case is eligible for compensation.
Oftentimes with MDL’s, it takes many months after the case settles before awards and legal fees are paid out. If you are an attorney or plaintiff with a slow-paying Levaquin settlement, RD Legal Funding can provide you with a post-settlement advance. Instead of waiting additional months or even years for the settlement to pay, RD Legal can advance you a discounted portion of your fee within a few short days. For more information about RD Legal’s cash flow solutions, call them at 1-800-565-5177, or fill out the brief form at the top of this page for a free consultation with one of their legal funding specialists.
Lulaine Compere is a Deal Origination Analyst at RD Legal Funding, a leading provider of post-settlement lawsuit advances to plaintiff’s attorneys and the clientele they represent.