A product liability lawsuit has been filed against Johnson & Johnson and its Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit, by a Kentucky woman who claims that her intravenous use of the antibiotic Levaquin caused her to suffer peripheral neuropathy. The complaint was brought by Geraldine Beverly in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on November 26, and alleges that the pharmaceutical companies failed to provide users with adequate warnings about the risk of permanent nerve damage from Levaquin. If you have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, and you believe Levaquin to be the cause, contact an experienced Levaquin lawyer today to discuss your legal options.
In her Levaquin lawsuit, Beverly states that she was given Levaquin intravenously at Pineville Community Hospital in Kentucky, and subsequently experienced symptoms of peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage characterized by pain, burning, weakness or numbness in the hands or feet, and limited range of motion, feeling and sensitivity. As a result of her peripheral neuropathy injuries, Beverly is seeking both punitive and compensatory damages, and accuses J&J and Ortho-McNeil-Janssen of negligence, failure to warn, strict liability, fraud, breach of warranty, fraudulent concealment and negligent misrepresentation.
Levaquin belongs to a popular class of antibiotic drugs called fluoroquinolones, which are among the most widely-used antibiotic medications in the United States. Beverly’s Levaquin lawsuit joins a growing number of complaints brought against the makers of fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Levaquin and Avelox, all of which involve similar allegations that the companies responsible for manufacturing and distributing the antibiotics have known about the risk of irreversible nerve damage for years, but failed to provide consumers and the medical community with adequate warnings until forced to do so by federal regulators in 2013.
According to Beverly’s lawsuit, “The warning label for Levaquin during the period from September 2004 through August 2013 misled Plaintiff and her treating physician by incorrectly advising patients and physicians that peripheral neuropathy associated with Levaquin was ‘rare’ and in any case could be avoided by discontinuing the drug upon the onset of certain symptoms.” According to a growing body of research, however, the onset of nerve damage side effects from Levaquin and similar antibiotic drugs is often rapid and, in many cases, the peripheral neuropathy injuries are permanent.
In a study published in the medical journal Neurology earlier this year, researchers indicated that side effects of Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs may actually double the risk of peripheral neuropathy. Studies have also suggested that discontinuation of Levaquin treatment does not necessarily ensure that the associated symptoms of nerve damage will subside. If you believe you have been adversely affected by peripheral neuropathy side effects of Levaquin, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are committed to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, and can help put you in touch with a knowledgeable Levaquin attorney today.