Status Conference Reveals Levaquin Settlements
Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen, and lawyers for plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits in the ongoing Levaquin multidistrict litigation met on the 11th of June, 2012, before Judge John R. Tunheim for a status conference in the ongoing multidistrict litigation case. Minutes from this meeting reveal that 1,787 cases are currently pending in the MDL and thousands more are centralized in New Jersey state court, making a total of about 3,700 lawsuits that the defendants must deal with. The defendants have declared that they have reached settlements for several hundred plaintiffs involved in the centralized New Jersey litigation case.
Hundreds of settlements agreed upon
Pending complaints by plaintiffs who have chosen to file a Levaquin lawsuit claim tendon rupture and/or tendon damage as well as Levaquin rotator cuff tears. These side effects were added to the drug’s warning label 13 years after the antibiotic was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Minutes from the status conference indicate that several hundred New Jersey lawsuits have been settled and that Johnson & Johnson expects to reach settlements with cases in the multidistrict litigation, as well. The MDL docket states that at least 14 plaintiffs have had their cases voluntarily dismissed, which could indicate that these plaintiffs in the MDL have already reached settlements with Johnson & Johnson.
Jury rules for $1.8 million settlement
Four lawsuits, separate from the MDL, have made it to trial by jury. Three cases were ruled in favor of the defendant, although one jury did find that the drug maker had committed failure to warn; the plaintiff, however, did not establish that Levaquin definitively caused his symptoms in this case. The fourth complaint, first to go to trial, resulted in a $1.8 million award to the plaintiff in both compensatory and punitive damages.
The next status conference in the Levaquin MDL is slated for the 17th of July, while bellwether trials are scheduled for October of 2012. Both sides have been asked to submit suggestions of possible plaintiffs for these trials.