Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers: Lawsuit Accuses Drug Maker of Hiding Side Effects

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A new lawsuit claims Johnson & Johnson and the former FDA Commissioner conspired to conceal information about the harmful effects of the antibiotic, Levaquin. The drug has been linked to several life-altering injuries and, in some cases, death. The lawsuit alleges the defendants deliberately mislabeled the drug in order to boost profits. The plaintiffs are seeking more than $120 million in compensatory damages and more than $750 million in punitive damages.

Levaquin is part of a class of antibiotic drugs called fluoroquinolones. The drugs are used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections, including urinary tract, sinus and respiratory infections. Similar drugs include Cipro and Avelox. All have been linked to serious and debilitating side effects such as:

  • Tendonitis
  • Tendon ruptures
  • Damage to the central nervous system
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Mitochondrial toxicity
  • Cardiovascular problems, including aortic dissection and aortic aneurysm
  • Chronic skin conditions

The lawsuit alleges Johnson & Johnson and the former head of the Food and Drug Administration knew about the drug’s potentially dangerous effects, yet failed to warn patients in order to reap financial gain. At the time the defendant served as FDA Commissioner, her husband was making millions off the stock he held in Johnson & Johnson. Many claim that this caused a serious conflict of interests that put thousands of people’s lives at risk. The case is unusual because it falls under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act, a law typically used to prosecute organized crime.

This is not the first time Johnson & Johnson has gone to court over Levaquin. In 2012, the company settled more than 800 lawsuits and is currently litigating hundreds more. Despite this, the drug is still widely available throughout the U.S. Those who take Levaquin or similar drugs should understand the potential side effects and discuss any new health problems with their doctors immediately.

Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Fight for Those Harmed by Medical Negligence

If you or someone you love suffered serious harm due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Call LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule a free consultation with one of our seasoned Baltimore malpractice lawyers or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent victims of medical negligence throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.