Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed across the country against Johnson & Johnson and their Ortho McNeil Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, claiming the manufacturer failed to properly warn consumers and physicians about the increased risks of tendon ruptures from use of the Levaquin.
The FDA mandated a black box warning for Levaquin side effects including the increased risk of tendon damage and tendon ruptures that particularly involve the Achilles tendon.
All federal filed Levaquin lawsuits across the country have been centralized in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota before U.S. District Judge John Tunheim, as part of Multidistrict Litigation (MDL).
A handful of those lawsuits have been selected to be bellwether lawsuits, or early trial cases that will help both parties weigh the strengths and weaknesses of the cases. Sometimes bellwether cases help spur settlement agreements.
The first Levaquin bellwether trial involved John Schedin, and ended with the jury finding the drug makers liable for reckless failure to warn and an award of $700,000 in compensatory damages and $1.1 million in punitive damages.
The second Levaquin bellwether trial is scheduled to start Tuesday, May 31, at 9:00 am.