Judge rejects J&J motion to dismiss Illinois Levaquin lawsuit over neurological symptoms linked to antibiotic drug

by Eric Pearson

A judge has rejected a motion by Johnson & Johnson to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the company by an Illinois man who alleges he developed neurological damage and other ailments after being treated with the antibiotic drug Levaquin. Jerzy Tyszkowski filed his Levaquin lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson after he was given the drug to treat an infection.

Levaquin is part of a class of drugs known as fluoroquinolones, or FQ antibiotics. Other commonly prescribed FQ antibiotic drugs include Cipro, Avelox, Noroxin, Floxin, and Factive. These medications can be prescribed either as a prescription pill or in the form of an injectable solution, which is usually done in a hospital. FQ antibiotics are used for the treatment or prevention of certain bacterial infections, including respiratory infections like pneumonia or urinary tract infections, and are some of the most widely prescribed medications in the U.S.

According to Tyszkowski’s lawsuit, he was treated with Levaquin over a period of five days in 2010. Over the course of the next year, Tyszkowski began to experience a variety of symptoms, including joint and tendon problems, neurological symptoms, and gastrointestinal disorders. In 2011, Tyszkowski says that he visited a neurosurgeon, who determined that his symptoms had been caused by Levaquin.

Johnson & Johnson filed a motion to dismiss Tyszkowski’s lawsuit, stating that if he visited a doctor in 2011 regarding his symptoms, then his 2013 lawsuit was not filed within the time limit for a pharmaceutical liability lawsuit. However, U.S. District Judge Manish S. Shah, who is hearing the case, rejected Johnson & Johnson’s motion to dismiss, saying that because of the ambiguous nature of Tyszkowski’s symptoms, it was difficult to determine whether or not the lawsuit was filed too late.

Tyszkowski’s lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson is one of many that have been filed by patients who developed nerve damage after taking FQ antibiotics. In December 2015, 32 lawsuits filed against J&J, Bayer Corp., Merck & Co. Inc. and others by patients who developed neurological problems after taking FQ antibiotics were consolidated in Pennsylvania court by a federal judge at the request of plaintiffs who filed the lawsuits.

Lawsuits filed over Nerve Damage Caused by FQ Antibiotics

The FDA has warned that patients taking FQ antibiotics may face an increased risk of developing peripheral neuropathy, a type of nerve damage that affects the signals between the brain or spinal cord and the rest of the body. Johnson & Johnson and other makers of FQ antibiotics updated the labeling for these medications in 2004 to include information about peripheral neuropathy. In 2013, the FDA ruled that these earlier warnings were inadequate, and required the manufacturers of FQ antibiotics to add an updated warning that Levaquin and similar medications could lead to severe and potentially permanent nerve damage.

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy after being prescribed Cipro, Avelox, Levaquin, or other FQ antibiotics, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for your injuries. Patients who have experienced symptoms of nerve damage in the hands, arms, legs, or feet that could be signs of peripheral neuropathy—including pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness—may also qualify to file a lawsuit. The first step in finding out whether you may be eligible to file a lawsuit is to speak with an attorney with experience at handling pharmaceutical litigation cases.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed numerous product liability lawsuits on behalf of patients who were injured by defective drugs or other medical products. Our firm believes that when the actions of drug companies and medical devices manufacturers compromise the health and safety of their patients, they should be held accountable in a court of law.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy after taking FQ antibiotics such as Levaquin, Cipro, or Avelox, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson to learn more about your legal options. For a free legal consultation from our attorneys, please call us toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few simple questions about your case to get started.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.