Levofloxacin, marketed under the brand name Levaquin and Tavanic, is an antibiotic used to treat severe bacterial infections that are too severe to respond to any other medication. But Levaquin has many serious side effects such as constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; gas; headache; light-headedness; nausea; and stomach pain. It causes severe allergic reactions, hallucinations, muscle pain or weakness, liver problems, nerve problems and many more. Although most of the drugs have side effects but the side effects of Levaquin are adverse and outweigh its good effects.

As a result of its side effects many cases are registered against its manufacturers-Ortho-McNeil, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

In 2005, Levaquin was prescribed to 82-year-old John Schedin, from Minnesota. He had infection in upper respiratory system. Before this drug therapy, Schedin was an active senior who used to play golf multiple times in a month.  But both of his Achilles tendons were ruptured. He can hardly move and is completely unable to climb stairs. All this happened after going for Levaquin.

He was given$1.12 million in punitive damages and $700,000 in compensatory damages by a Minnesota jury in December 2010 as compensation for the punitive damages. Compensatory damages include all the financial loss from hospital bills to lost wages. Jurists quantify pain & suffering that a victim suffered due of an injury. And punitive damages are damages imposed against an accused to punish the company or person and discourage the action in the future. As the Schedin decision became famous, more and more cases were filed against Johnson & Johnson and the result proved to be in favour of claimants. 2,600 claimants so far filed Levaquin lawsuits and the risks of taking levaquin continue to hit headlines.

Schedin’s Levaquin lawsuit jury verdict granted $700,000 as compensatory damages but it was reduced to $630,000 after it was clear that Schedin was responsible for 10 percent of the risk of his injury. Johnson & Johnson claim that a warning was included though it was not readily available.

However the accused are not happy with the verdict of the jury. They will defend against claimant’s accusation on appeal as was said by a spokesman for Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson that makes Levaquin, in an e-mail. They argued that they provide appropriate and timely information about the pros and cons of taking Levaquin.

In 2007, the year before the “black box” warning was put into practice; more than 13.5 million Levaquin prescriptions were written.  As it was ordered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inform people about the side effects and the risk of tendonitis and tendon rupture, associated with the usage of Levaquin.

Minnesota octogenarian was given $1.8 million in Levaquin lawsuit jury verdict on December 8 2010.  More than 2,600 Levaquin lawsuits are awaiting trials nationwide in US courts today. The allegation is common and that is Ortho-McNeil-Janssen failed to warn people against potential damages that Levaquin can do. As the news of John Schedin’s case spreads and the word about the side effects of Levaquin goes out, the number of cases is likely to grow. Johnson & Johnson might try to settle cases outside court with the victims of Levaquin.