Hodges says that he is getting a lot of calls from people suffering from tendonitis and ruptured tendons, including serious ruptures of the Achilles heel tendon and shoulder tendon. He expects a lot of potential lawsuits because Levaquin is prescribed to so many people. And no wonder: on its website, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has an extensive list of indications Levaquin is used for, including skin, urinary tract and lung infections and more.
"A lot of people are unaware of the association with these injuries and Levaquin because their doctor doesn't tell them and/or most people don't read the label," Hodges says, "so the amount of people who are calling us can easily escalate. Another problem is that we are such a pill society; most everyone thinks an approved pill is OK and believe a drug company wouldn't sell their product if it hurt them. As we know, that isn't the case at all."
Statute of Limitations
Levaquin was slapped with a black box warning in July, 2008 and Hodges says most people have experienced these problems before the black box warning. So what are the chances of someone filing a lawsuit if their tendon rupture occurred in 2006 or 2007? Hodges says it depends on the state. "For example, Missouri has a five year statute of limitations," he explains, "and in many states there are discovery periods so probably the black box warning is going to eliminate many claims for people who took the drug after July, 2008.
Do You Have a Potential Lawsuit?
Hodges says because of Levaquin's black box warning, it indicates that the maker knew of these problems but did nothing about it, "so for people who have these problems before the warning, they should have a good claim."
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"First, we find out where you live and determine the statute of limitations for that state. If I believe I had an injury from a drug such as Levaquin I wouldn't hesitate to call a lawyer, especially with a drug of this type, where there have already been some class actions around the country. That may have tolled the statute of limitations for everyone--in other words, that means the statute may not have run out, even if you are in a state where the statute of limitations has run out.
These issues are never 100 percent black and white, but if there is a nationally alleged class action anywhere, there is a law for everyone." However, at the end of the day, it is better to contact a lawyer sooner than later.