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New Jersey high court designates J&J Levaquin suit as mass tort.
The New Jersey Law Journal – July 6, 2009
The New Jersey Law Journal (7/6, Toutant) reports “The New Jersey Supreme Court has designated mounting litigation over the Johnson & Johnson antibiotic Levaquin as a mass tort and has assigned it to an Atlantic County, N.J., judge. The suits charge that the drug, which is prescribed for bacterial infections of the lungs, urinary tract and skin, has caused Achilles’ tendon ruptures and other damage.” Plaintiff attorneys argued “that the litigation will likely involve thousands of cases with the same defendants, similar complex issues of law and fact, and plaintiffs with a high degree of commonality in their injuries and damages.” The drug “was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996, but in July 2008, the FDA warned that Levaquin, and other drugs in the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, put users at heightened risk of developing tendonitis and tendon ruptures.
Levaquin an antibiotic manufactured by Johnson & Johnson and Ortho-McNeil was originally designed to treat bacterial infections in different parts of the body. Since it’s introduction in 1997, the manufacturer failed to properly warn the public about the safety risks of the medication.
In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration enforced the manufacturer of Levaquin to add a black-box warning label regarding the increased risk of tendon injury and tendon ruptures.
Tendons are tough cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. According to the Food and Drug Administration possible side effects of Levaquin are: pain swelling, tears and inflammation of tendons including the back of the ankle (Achilles), shoulder, hand, or other tendon sites can happen in people of all ages who take fluoroquinolone antibiotics.
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