Californian sues over Levaquin in St. Clair County

By Andrea Dearden | Jun 30, 2011


A California woman is suing the makers of an antibacterial drug after it was allegedly shown to cause tendon damage.

Geraldine Harris filed the lawsuit June 3 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC, companies that do business in the district.

According to the complaint, a Japanese company Daiichi developed levofloxacin, an antibiotic, in the 1980s. It has been promoted, sold and distributed in the United States by Johnson & Johnson as Levaquin since 1997. It was approved by the FDA as a treatment for a variety of infections including bronchitis and sinusitis infections.

Harris contends research has shown the drug also increases the risk of tendon deterioration and subsequent injury -- including ruptured tendons -- especially in people over the age of 60. She contends these findings have been known by the defendants since 1997. She says there have many changes made to the warning label on Levaquin over the years to include information about the possibility of such injuries.

Harris says she was presecribed Levaquin by her doctor and eventually suffered a severe tendon injury. She accuses Johnson & Johnson and Ortho-McNeil of negligence, breach of warranties and consumer fraud.

Harris is asking for an unspecified amount of money in damages for medical expenses and court costs.

Attorney David W. Bauman of St. Louis, Mo. is representing her. They ask for a jury trial.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case No. 11-L-262.

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