Antibiotic Nerve Injury Lawsuit Filing Process to be Streamlined With Master Complaint
With a growing number of Levaquin lawsuits, Avelox lawsuits and Cipro lawsuits continuing to be filed over debilitating nerve injuries caused by the popular antibiotics, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the litigation has established a procedure for brining new cases through use of a Master Complaint that outlines common allegations raised in the lawsuits.
There are currently at 425 antibiotic nerve injury lawsuits pending throughout the federal court system against the makers of medications that are part of a class of drugs known as fluoroquinolones, each raising similar allegations that consumers and the medical community were not adequately warned about the link between use of the antibiotics and peripheral neuropathy.
As lawyers continue to review and file cases, it is ultimately expected that several thousand complaints will be filed by former users of Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro who now suffer permanent nerve injury.
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Given the common questions of fact and law raised in the case, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established coordinated pretrial proceedings for the lawsuits last year, centralizing complaints filed nationwide before U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim in the District of Minnesota to reduce duplicative discovery into common issues, avoid conflicting pretrial rulings from different judges and serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the courts.
In a pretrial order (PDF) issued on March 1, Judge Tunheim indicates that the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee shall file a Master Complaint on behalf of all plaintiffs involved in the litigation by April 14, as well as a Short Form Complaint, which can be used as an abbreviated form to file future complaints.
“In light of the number of product liability complaints filed to date and likely to be filed in the future in the MDL (multidistrict litigation) proceedings, and the inefficiencies of drafting those complaints and individual answers to those complaints, and also in order to streamline the process for the Court’s consideration of dispositive motions, the Parties have agreed to the following procedures for hte use of master pleadings,” wrote Judge Tunheim in the order.
All plaintiffs who already have a case pending will be required to file a Short Form Complaint by May 14, and the abbreviated form will be used by all individuals who file future antibiotic nerve injury lawsuits against the makers of Levaquin, Avelox, Cipro or other fluoroquinolones. Once a short form complaint has been filed, plaintiffs will have 30 days to present evidence confirming which specific antibiotic they used.
Antibiotic Nerve Damage Risks
Litigation over the risk of nerve damage from the popular antibiotics has emerged since the FDA required new warnings for all fluoroquinolones in August 2013.
While prior warnings provided with drugs like Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro indicated that some users experienced temporary nerve damage in rare cases, the FDA required the manufacturers of all fluoroquinolone antibiotics to provide stronger indication that the medications may cause long-lasting nerve injury, which may last for months or even years after an individual stops taking the antibiotic.
Peripheral neuropathy involves damage to the nerves that may impair sensation, movement and other aspects of health. This may leave users with persistent pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness and sensitivity to light touches, temperature and motion in the arms and legs, as well as other problems that cause a major disruption to daily activities.
Plaintiffs allege that the makers of Levaquin, Avelox and Cipro should have provided these warnings years ago, noting that the first indication of a possible link between long-term peripheral neuropathy and fluoroquinolone antibiotics came in a study published in 2001.
If adequate warnings had been provided about the risk of permanent neuropathy problems, plaintiffs indicate that they may have avoided painful and debilitating injuries.
barbaraApril 14, 2016 at 5:52 pm
At age 60 when a doctor suggested antibiotics I never thought twice about it, I have never been injured by antibiotics. So when my Doctor prescribed Cipro I didn't think twice about it. Why wouldn't the warning start with the prescribing Doctor? I filled my prescription they asked if I need to speak to a pharmacist nothing, I didn't know I should have been concerned about an antibiotic. My new Doc[Show More]At age 60 when a doctor suggested antibiotics I never thought twice about it, I have never been injured by antibiotics. So when my Doctor prescribed Cipro I didn't think twice about it. Why wouldn't the warning start with the prescribing Doctor? I filled my prescription they asked if I need to speak to a pharmacist nothing, I didn't know I should have been concerned about an antibiotic. My new Doctor a Natures Path and forever more a natures path told me there are many other antibiotics that could have cured me, that Cipro and the others like Cipro are poison. Big Pharma is a criminal. I will not patronize big pharma again by buying prescription drugs. Even cancer can be fought with out big pharma.
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