Settlements Reached By Groups of Plaintiffs in Levaquin MDL
Plaintiffs who have filed suit alleging problems with the antibiotic Levaquin seek to hold Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Ortho McNeill Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. liable for injuries they claim to have suffered after using it. Injuries include rotator cuff tears and tendon ruptures.
In the Minnesota multidistrict litigation (MDL) of individuals seeking compensation for Levaquin side effects, the most recent status conference suggests that approximately 845 plaintiffs have reached settlements.
Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers were required by the FDA to add a black box warning to Levaquin in 2009 to warn users as to the danger of tendon injuries and rotator cuff tears. It is likely that an attorney representing a plaintiff who suffered an injury after using Levaquin will say that there should have been additional warnings prior to the FDA order, and that more should have been done to inform doctors of the possible risks.
Levaquin warning label judged inadequate
The settlements follow four Levaquin cases that did wind up going to trial with three that were decided in favor of the defendants and the fourth decided in favor of the the plaintiffs who, in December of 2010, were awarded $1.8 million. Jurors in at least one of the other three cases found that the defendants did not provide a sufficient warning of the risk of tendon injuries. The defendants won the case because the plaintiff was judged as having failed to prove that their injuries were due to the drug.
These results come after similar settlement agreements were reached in the centralized proceeding located in New Jersey. Minutes dated June 11, 2012 from the MDL said that there were settlement agreements in several hundred of the New Jersey filings.
Settlement discussions continue in Minnesota Levaquin MDL
Currently there are 1,509 active cases in New Jersey and a total of 1,923 pending in Minnesota.
On December 4, the next status conference in the Levaquin MDL is scheduled to take place. Settlement discussions are expected to continue until then.
The minutes from the Minnesota MDL show that three groups are moving forward in settlement negotiations. The first group consists of approximately 845 plaintiffs and are being represented by a small number of legal firms who, in September of 2012 reached a settlement agreement. These are currently being drafted and should be complete in the coming weeks.
The second group has around 130 plaintiffs who are represented by a different group of legal firms; this group is interested in the settlement that the first group reached.
The third has somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 plaintiffs. The attorneys representing these plaintiffs have a small number of cases participating in the MDL. In addition, the third group is not working through MDL attorneys, but have made overtures to the defendants to discuss settlement parameters.
Additional settlements are expected
The amount the plaintiffs settled their cases for in Minnesota has yet to be released, but according to the minutes from the status conference, additional settlements are being negotiated and are expected. If the cases are settled, they won’t go to court.
Approximately 3,434 claims have been filed in state and federal courts nationwide by a Levaquin lawyer to win judgment or a settlement from the manufacturer.Invalid tag specified, please contact administrator.