Plaintiffs seeking the consolidation of all federal Levaquin peripheral neuropathy lawsuits will have the opportunity to make their case this Friday, when the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) convenes its next hearing session in San Francisco, California. At that time, the Panel will hear Oral Arguments on the creation of multidistrict litigation for all product liability claims involving Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro that have been filed in U.S. District Courts on behalf of patients who allegedly suffered permanent nerve damage due to their use.
Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro are all fluoroquinolone antibiotics, a class of medications used to treat bacterial infections like pneumonia. Court records indicate that at least 59 injury cases have been filed in federal courts overt the medication’s alleged association with peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve injury that may result in long-lasting or permanent disability. All of the lawsuits similarly accuse the manufacturers of Levaquin and other fluoroquinolones of ignoring information about the link between the drugs and peripheral neuropathy for years, and failing to adequately warn patients and doctors about the risk of permanent and long-lasting nerve damage.
The litigation involving fluoroquinolone antibiotics and peripheral neuropathy began to grow shortly after the FDA ordered the drugs’ manufacturers to strengthen nerve damage warnings in August 2013. At the time, the FDA expressed concern that the labels did not adequately describe the potential rapid onset of peripheral neuropathy and the risk that nerve damage could be permanent.
Plaintiffs filed a motion with the JPML in May seeking consolidation of all pending peripheral neuropathy lawsuits involving Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois. In order to do so, the JPML must determine that all of the pending claims share sufficient questions of fact to warrant their consolidation, and that transfer of the docket to a single federal court will reduce duplicative discovery, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings, and serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.