Processing Magazine

Jury Rules Against Johnson & Johnson in Antibiotic Suit

December 9, 2010

A federal court jury ordered health care company Johnson & Johnson to pay damages of $1.8 million in the case of an 82-year-old Minnesota man who sued over claims the antibiotic Levaquin caused him severe tendon injuries, according to the Associated Press. John Schedin of Edina was prescribed Levaquin five years ago to treat a diagnosed case of bronchitis. After three days on the drug, Schedin ruptured both his Achilles tendons. In 2008, the Food and Drug Administration required Johnson & Johnson and makers of similar drugs to print warnings on the risks of tendon injuries. That same year, Schedin sued Ortho-McNeil-Jansen Pharmaceuticals, the unit of New Brunswick, N.J.-based J&J that markets Levaquin. The Minneapolis jury on Wednesday decided the company must pay Schedin $700,000 in actual damages and $1.1 million in punitive damages, though actual damages will be reduced by $70,000 under the jury''s finding of 10 percent liability for Schedin in response to the allegation that he exacerbated the condition by initially responding to his tendon pain by exercising. The trial was the first on more than 2,600 other U.S. lawsuits making similar claims.