Johnson & Johnson is settling Levaquin antibiotic drug cases. Medical studies have reported that Levaquin causes tendon injuries, like tendonitis and tendon ruptures. J&J is settling 845 cases that are involved in a type of class action known as multidistrict litigation (MDL). As of September, there were 1,793 Levaquin lawsuits in federal courts, all combined in Minnesota. There are another 1,500 in New Jersey state court.
The settlements probably come as a relief to plaintiffs, who have lost three out of the four bellwether Levaquin trials (the first trial was a $1.8 million verdict). As part of the MDL, federal judges frequently run a few test cases. The outcome of those cases gives the parties better information about what the juries think of the claims, and settlements typically happen soon thereafter.
So the system works as it should. Lawsuits were filed, the parties got together, test cases showed the strength and weaknesses of each side’s claims, and now resolution seems likely for most cases.