EDWARDSVILLE -- Four of the five plaintiffs in a suit over tendon injuries allegedly caused by the drug Levaquin have been spun off from their 2009 Madison County case and sent back to their home counties.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth entered the agreed order May 28.

The four plaintiffs, Joyce Hoskins, Lenora Watson-London, Marilyn Wolffe and Evelyn Webb were transferred to Sangamon and Cook counties.

Fellow plaintiff Deborah Hildebrandt's case remains in Ruth's court.

The women's suit is one of a number filed between last year and the present over an alleged link between Levaquin and tendon injuries.
Levaquin is an antibiotic aimed at lung and sinus diseases.

They are suing on claims of strict liability, negligence, breach of implied warranty, breach of express warranty, common law fraud, and other claims.

The Hildebrandt plaintiffs filed suit against Levaquin's makers, Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc., Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research LLC and Walgreen Co., the owner of the Walgreens pharmacies chain.

The defendants in the case had argued that Madison County was an inconvenient venue to hear all the Hildebrandt claims. They also alleged that the five women's suits were improperly joined.

The plaintiff argued in their response to the motion to sever and transfer the claims that removing the four women's claims would lead to duplicate cases and that the claims shared questions of law.

The Hildebrandt case had previously been assigned to Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian.

Several more Levaquin suits were filed in Madison County the week before Memorial Day.

Corey Sullivan and Jeffrey Lowe represent the plaintiffs.

All of the defendants but Walgreens are represented by Daniel Ball.
Watson-London, Webb and Wolffe's claims were sent back to Cook County.

Hoskins is from Sangamon.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-919

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