Last week, one law firm in Texas filed 25 Levaquin lawsuits in Philadelphia and said they plan to file 50 or 60 more.
Plaintiffs have filed a motion to consolidate the litigation into one court, under one judge. According to the motion, lawyers “anticipate that hundreds of additional complaints will be filed in the near future and that thousands of cases exist.”
As the number of lawsuits grows, so does the likelihood that federal judges will agree to centralize the litigation in one court.
Pennsylvania might be a good choice because the pharmaceutical companies that make Levaquin, Avelox, and Cipro are based in the state. However, plaintiffs requested the Southern District of Illinois because it provides a geographically central location for cases filed all over the country.
Johnson & Johnson is already facing a centralized Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 1943) involving Levaquin in Minnesota. More than 2,000 lawsuits were filed by people who suffered tendon injuries after taking the antibiotic.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) may decide to create another centralized litigation for people who developed peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage.
The label on Levaquin has carried warnings about peripheral neuropathy since 2004, but indicated that the side effect was rare and would go away when the antibiotic was discontinued. In 2013, the FDA revised the label to warn that peripheral neuropathy could occur suddenly and cause permanent nerve damage.
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