BRENTON, Ill. — On May 19, 2015, plaintiffs in the lawsuits related to fluoroquinolone products submitted a motion requesting that at least 24 of the cases be consolidated in multidistrict litigation in the Southern District of Illinois. These cases are currently pending in 16 different federal courts even though they relate to very similar issues. If the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, which will overhear the request and will make the final decision, decides to consolidate the cases, this should ultimately reduce the costs to the plaintiffs while also increasing efficiency in all of the cases since it will reduce court costs as well as the need to reissue similar motions and obtain the same discovery over and over again. Defendants in drug lawsuits typically attempt to prevent the consolidation of cases by asserting that the cases are not similar enough in order to keep costs and inefficiencies high for the plaintiffs.
Fluoroquinolone antibiotic products were first developed around 50 years ago and have become a popular way to fight various illnesses and infections including urinary tract infections. These products can come in liquids, tablets or gels, and some are even injectable. Some of the most popular names for these drugs include:
- Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
- Factive (gemifloxacin)
- Floxin (ofloxacin)
- Avelox (moxifloxacin)
- Levaquin (levofloxacin)
- Noroxin (norfloxacin)
Although theses drugs have been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, the FDA issued a requirement in 2013 that all fluoroquinolone drugs have their labels updated to warn of the increased risk of nerve damage that has been linked to these drugs by recent studies. The studies demonstrated that exposure to the fluoroquinolone products can result in severe nerve damage, which can cause pain, impairment of muscle control, and reduction in feeling in the extremities. In many cases, there is no way to treat these serious side effects or even reduce the discomfort that they bring.
As a result of this nerve damage, several patients have brought lawsuits against various fluoroquinolone product manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Schering Corp., Merck & Company Inc., and McKesson Corp. The lawsuits allege that the the use of the medication by the plaintiff was the cause of the resulting nerve damage and other injuries.
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