Petition Seeks Mass Tort for Levaquin, Cipro, Avelox Lawsuits in Pennsylvania

As a growing number of Levaquin lawsuits, Cipro lawsuits and Avelox lawsuits continue to be filed in the Pennsylvania state court system, each involving similar allegations that users of the popular antibiotics developed peripheral neuropathy, a request has been filed to establish “mass tort” proceedings in the state.

A petition was filed last week by a group of 32 plaintiffs who have brought peripheral neuropathy cases against the makers of Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox, seeking to have all lawsuits pending in Pennsylvania state court centralized before one judge in Philadelphia for pretrial proceedings.

Each of the complaints raise nearly identical allegations, indicating that manufacturers of fluoroquinolone-based antibiotics failed to adequately warn about the risk that users may suffer severe and long-term nerve damage, withholding warnings that the symptoms may continue long after the medications are no longer used.

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The request was filed with Philadelphia Administrative Judge Kevin M. Dougherty, according to a report by The Legal Intelligencer, seeking to centralize the claims as part of a Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox Mass Tort in the Philadelphia Court of Common pleas, which would reduce duplicative discovery into common issues presented in the cases, avoid contradictory rulings from different judges and serve the convenience of the parties, witnesses and the judicial system.

Similar centralized proceedings have already been established for Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox cases pending in the federal court system, where complaints filed nationwide have been centralized since August before U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim in the District of Minnesota, as part of a federal Multi-District Litigation, or MDL.

There are currently over 225 cases filed in U.S. District Courts nationwide centralized before Judge Tunheim, and the number of cases is expected to continue to grow as antibiotic peripheral neuropathy lawyers continue to review and file complaints for former users of Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox. Many estimates suggest that there will ultimately be several thousand cases filed nationwide.

About Antibiotic Peripheral Neuropathy Risks

The Levaquin, Cipro and Avelox mass tort litigation has emerged since the FDA required new warnings for all fluoroquinolone-based antibiotics in August 2013.

While prior warnings provided with the drugs indicated that some users experienced nerve damage, the manufacturers have suggested that the problems were rare and often resolved when the antibiotic was no longer used.

After reviewing adverse event reports and available data, the FDA required the makers of all fluoroquinolones to provide information about the long-term risk of peripheral neuropathy from the antibiotics, indicating problems may last for months or years after an individual stops taking the drug.

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.

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