On March 20, 2012, a Mississippi resident named Kathy Stroud filed a Levaquin lawsuit on behalf of Gilbert Stroud’s estate. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Alabama and lists drug giants Johnson & Johnson and Ortho-McNeil as the defendants.
Gilbert Stroud suffered from tendon injuries after taking Levaquin and Kathy Stroud blames the drug for his condition. Kathy states in her lawsuit that although a black box warning was issued against Levaquin in 2008, the warning did not include the information for doctors that the drug was more toxic for patient tendons than all of the other antibiotic medications in its class. It is for that reason that Kathy says that the drug’s manufacturers purposely misled doctors about the injury risks linked to Levaquin. Stroud’s lawsuit was included in the Minnesota Levaquin MDL on April 23.
When Gilbert started taking Levaquin in 2008, he was 73 years old. Soon after he started the medication, he suffered a rotator cuff tear that required extensive physical therapy and treatment. Kathy maintains that his injury caused his quality of life to be severely compromised and diminished. Stroud’s lawsuit is similar to many others that have been filed against the makers of Levaquin. At least one of those lawsuits, filed by plaintiff John Schedin, resulted in a nearly $2 million award that was upheld on appeal.
Levaquin research has proven that the drug causes rotator cuff tears and tendon ruptures, yet it is still prescribed regularly. Part of the drug’s warning label includes information that the drug is more dangerous to patients aged 65 or older, like Gilbert, and those patients who are taking corticosteroids. While older patients have an increased risk of developing tendon ruptures after taking Levaquin, younger patients also develop the condition. It is for this reason that so many patients are filing lawsuits against J&J amid charges that the company did not properly warn consumers and healthcare officials of the risks before putting it on the market.