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New Jersey Levaquin Jury Hears Opening Statements

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The third trial in nearly 2,600 claims against Johnson & Johnson antibiotic Levaquin has begun with allegations the company failed to warn New Jersey residents Paul Gaffney and Robert Beare that the drug could damage their tendons.

Attorney Andre Alonso of the national law firm Parker Waichman Alonso LLC, told the jury in open statements that J&J and its Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical unit downplayed the drugs risks in warning labels even after receiving European reports about tendon ruptures. “J&J officials knew there was a problem and did everything they could to hide it” to protect sales, Bloomberg reports.

In 2008 the FDA required all antibiotics in the same class as Levaquin to increase warnings about tendon ruptures, after finding the drug increased the risk of tendon ruptures to 3 to 4 times of those in the general population.

Both Gaffney, 67, and Beare, 72, received Levaquin as a treatment for sinus infections and both suffered Achilles tendon ruptures that left them unable to walk, and necessitated surgery.

An attorney for J&J denied any wrong doing saying that “From the very first label, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) included information about reports of ruptures of the shoulder, hand and Achilles tendon.” She also said that FDA regulators were aware of reports of tendon problems associated with Levaquin when they approved it.

The trial is expected to last about four weeks. disclaimer: This article: New Jersey Levaquin Jury Hears Opening Statements was posted on Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 at 7:41 pm at and is filed under Defective Drug Lawsuits.

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