Antibiotic caused elbow tendon injury, Texas man argues

Michelle Massey, East Texas Bureau Jul. 12, 2010, 6:00am

MARSHALL-A Texas resident claims he has suffered a permanent injury to the tendons in his elbow after taking the antibacterial drug Levaquin (levoflaxacin).

Kenneth Edward Adams filed suit against Johnson & Johnson, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical Inc. and Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development on June 29 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division.

The lawsuit states that "Levaquin-induced tendon injury involves the degradation of the tendon tissue, leading to severe and permanent injuries."

Adams states that the defendant has fraudulently misrepresented, concealed, and failed to disclose information concerning the safety and effectiveness of Levaquin.

According to the lawsuit, after numerous complaints of tendon rupture or damage after taking the drug, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required that Ortho-McNeil include "black box" warnings on Levaquin.

"The FDA warnings warn of risks of ruptures, particularly to tendons in shoulders, hands or Achilles tendons, and urging patients on Levaquin to discontinue use if pain, inflammation or tendon rupture occurs," the complaint states.

Causes of action filed against the defendant include strict liability, negligence, breach of express and implied warranties, fraud, violation of unfair and deceptive trade practices acts, and unjust enrichment.

Levaquin is in a class of fluoroquinolone antibiotics associated with serious side effects. the suit states. Other drugs within this class have been removed from the market.

The plaintiff is asking the court for an award of compensatory damages, an award of special damages for medical expenses, lost income, permanent disability, permanent instability, lost balance, pain and suffering, triple damages, attorneys' fees, expenses, court costs and interest.

Adams is represented by attorney Dick Swift of Palestine. Jury trial requested.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward is assigned to the litigation.

Case No. 2:10-cv-00213

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