Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is facing yet another set of Levaquin lawsuits claiming that the drug caused nerve damage to users. Levaquin is an antibiotic that fights bacterial infections.
J&J has been in and out of the courtroom for the past few years due to cases of complications allegedly brought about by the drug. The Levaquin lawsuits have surfaced after the FDA’s increased emphasis on the dangers of the dangerous side effects. New lawsuits filed against the company in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have accused J&J of an aggressive marketing strategy for the drug despite their knowledge that it could lead to a painful nerve condition known as peripheral neuropathy.
One of the Levaquin lawsuits in Pennsylvania was filed by Michelin Rowell who claims that taking the drug caused permanent peripheral neuropathy. The lawsuit also aims to prove that Levaquin is a defective drug in alleging that the company committed fraud when it failed to give out a warning to patients and doctors about the associated neuropathy risks. The lawsuit filed by Rowell also claims that the company knew about the risks as early as 1996 and that scientific data over the years also revealed the impact of the danger to nerves but J&J still continued to market the drug.
The New Jersey Law Journal reported that more than 12 Levaquin lawsuits were filed in New Jersey as of last week and ten more similar lawsuits are expected. The new labeling on Levaquin warns that using the drug could result in mild infections such as bronchitis and sinus infections. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs in New Jersey claim that their lawsuits will be part of a multi-district litigation effort taking place in Minnesota.
Prior to the neuropathy lawsuits, J&J faced 3,400 lawsuits relating to Levaquin and its connection to tendon injuries. Some patients have also sued the company for allegedly intentionally mislabeling and misbranding the drug and also failing to point out the side effects so that it could benefit financially.