Quoted from http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-24/j-j-unit-didn-t-hide-levaquin-risks-company-lawyer-says.html
J&J Unit Didn’t Hide Levaquin Risks, Company Lawyer Says
January 24, 2012, 12:49 PM EST
By Margaret Cronin Fisk and Beth Hawkins
Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Johnson & Johnson properly warned of the risks of its antibiotic Levaquin and shouldn’t be held liable for tendon injuries sustained by a 78-year-old man, a company lawyer said at the end of a trial in Minneapolis.
Clifford Straka, who blew out two Achilles tendons after taking the drug for pneumonia, sued J&J and its Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical unit in 2008. Straka said his doctor wasn’t aware when she prescribed the drug that Levaquin was linked to an increased risk of tendon damage in elderly patients.
Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, has denied any failure to warn and contended that Straka needed Levaquin to treat the pneumonia.
“The label from day one in 1996 was adequate,” James Irwin, J&J’s lawyer, said in closing arguments today. “The information was out there and available to the doctors and everyone else.”
The lawsuit is the third federal case to go to trial in Minnesota alleging the unit, now known as Janssen Pharmaceuticals, downplayed the risks of the antibiotic to boost sales. J&J lost the first, a jury verdict for $1.8 million in 2010, and won the second last year. The company also won the first state case in October, when a New Jersey jury rejected the claims of two plaintiffs.