Second Levaquin Bellwether Trial Nears Start in Minnesota
A May 27 pre-trial conference in a federal court in Minnesota will be the next major stepping stone for the advancement of Levaquin litigation. No matter the outcome, Levaquin lawsuit status will remain unresolved for the time being, due to a complicated array of court orders and large-scale consolidations, and in one bellwether case in Minnesota, the awarding of a substantial Levaquin settlement to an injured plaintiff.
Levaquin lawsuit status
In most instances, Levaquin lawsuit status is currently pending. Levaquin litigation encompasses nearly 3,000 lawsuits to date. Over half of these were filed in state courts and have been centralized in New Jersey, where drug-maker Ortho-McNeil’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, has its corporate headquarters. The remaining federal cases have been consolidated into multidistrict legislation (MDL), with all pre-trial proceedings being overseen by Judge John R. Tunheim of the U.S. District Court of Minnesota.
Next Levaquin bellwether trial begins
One of multiple bellwether trials is set to begin at the end of May 2011, after a final status conference on May 27. A bellweather trial traditionally sets precedents for future trials where plaintiffs have similar complaints against a shared defendant. Any Levaquin damages granted to plaintiff Calvin Christensen may set a standard in Levaquin settlements to follow.
The first federal Levaquin bellweather trial yielded plaintiff John Schedin an award just shy of $1.8 million in punitive and compensatory damages after both of his Achilles tendons snapped only eight days after he began taking Levaquin for a lung infection.
Levaquin lawsuits consider side effects and warnings
Levaquin is a popular “broad spectrum” antibiotic often prescribed to relieve upper respiratory infections. In 2008, the FDA slapped its most severe “black box” warning on the drug, after studies linked it to an increased risk of tendon ruptures, including rotator cuff tears and, most commonly, ruptures of the Achilles tendon.
Many of those who have been injured have sought the advice of a Levaquin lawyer. Plaintiffs seeking Levaquin settlements contend that Ortho-McNeil failed to adequately study the antibiotic in clinical tests and alert both patients and doctors to the true risks of Levaquin side effects.
State levaquin lawsuit postponed
Levaquin lawsuit status in New Jersey is still up in the air. Originally scheduled to begin in May, the first “mass tort” state trial was subsequently pushed back to a mid-summer or even fall start date.